Digital: The Beautiful Meme

By Jo Phillips

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Voiceover provided by my six year old daughter…

It is a Happening. It takes place over four hours on a Friday night in the Design Museum with about 200 invited guests. There’s an entry fee, a bar, cocktail hour, food and gifts but for those four hours money is worthless and people have to pay with their personal information and their secrets. Surrounding our guests and in real time we will have artists interpreting the flow of intimate data that is streaming in.

There are so many of The Beautiful Meme‘s current interests influencing this Happening, that once we’d thought it up we couldn’t not make it a reality. We want to see what ‘medium data’ looks like – the set of ‘tags’ that define a randomly collected group of people. We want to see how you can reflect back people’s darkest tastes and thoughts in interesting ways. We wanted to challenge ourselves, and our tech partners Isotoma, to create a system that could collect as much data as possible as frictionlessly as possible. We wanted to create a mini-version of the Situationist’s spectacle and see if a group could ‘own’ it. We wanted to throw a Discordian party.

Fun is a really good word. Although we’re very, very serious about the ideas we want to explore, we’re unable to be ‘creative-agency’ po-faced about them. Pull this off and we’ll have a weird and sexy data orgy. That sounds fun. If it doesn’t work then at least we’ve thrown ourself fully into the experiment and worked with an amazing range of conspirators along the way!

The Happening takes place on Friday, 21st February 2014 at London’s Design Museum.

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‘It’s Ok, We’re All Friends Here’ is a Happening organised by creative agency The Beautiful Meme and technology company Isotoma. It takes place on a Friday evening in the Design Museum

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200 invited guests offered up their secrets and predilections in exchange for cocktails and mystery gifts as part of the happening.

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Four typists created a Kerouacian roll of data

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The anonymous information was instantly broadcast back into the Design Museum in a variety of media

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Live illustrations from artists Jaypee, Tal Brosh and Jorge.

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Guests responded to sets of deeply personal questions such as ‘As you get older are you becoming more evil?’, ‘Do you feel nervous when you wake up?’ and ‘Do you think you’re better at sex than other people?’, in exchange for tokens to buy food, drink and presents.