Dedicated webpage : http://peter1island.com/art/manipulation/
This work attempts to question the audience about the subject of mental manipulation, specifically as it relates to social networking. After logging in using their Facebook accounts, the audience starts playing with the installation only aware of the unusual way to manipulate it (with their nomadic devices via a distant website). However, as the performance progress, it becomes more and more obvious that the real purpose of the work is far from the simple idea of physical manipulation. Actually, it explores different aspects of mental manipulation, illustrating them by different means until showing the players that while they thought they were manipulating the installation they had in fact been manipulated by it.
The installation works like most of “free” online services : it highlights a free useful or entertaining service to hide its real purpose. Like these services, “--Manipulation--” is fully designed to manipulate the audience. With almost every artistic or technical detail aimed to respectively evoke or actively participate to the mental manipulation process. However, this is done in a very “safe” way compared to what is encountered in every-day life since even if their personal data --they allowed access to by themselves-- is revealed, it is (of course) not sold to any third party nor stored.
A very important aspect of the work is that this installation has been designed to spread its message as widely as possible so the hardware requirements have been kept as limited as possible and the programs used are all open-source or free. Furthermore, the full source code and the installation guide will be released on summer solstice 2013 so everyone can install and run it everywhere a computer and network access are available.
“When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” @andlewis