The Hazy Corner

Background

Computation has become the primary medium for almost all of our everyday communication. Yet we have to recognize the critical difference between computation and the other traditional medium. The computer instantiates a practice not a presence, an effect not an object. (The Interface Effect, Alex R Galloway) Our digital messages transmit from one terminal to another. It is stored by database, processed by computer algorithms. By going through the computational media, the “uncomputable” quality is discarded. When the message is received by the recipient, it is presented in an environment that is full of buttons, links and irrelevant information, the reality carried by the message is scattered, and the message is inevitably being instrumentalized. The message is “computationally dehydrated.”

The Haze

There is an urgent need to reimagine a radically different mode of communication through digital interactive media, so that interaction enabled through computational object have the capacity to be both absent and present.

Computational randomness corresponds to infinite volumes of data that are meaningful contingencies which refuse to be fully comprehended, compressed, or sensed by totalities (i.e.,by the mind, the machine or the body). This also means that algorithms do not exclusively channel data according to preset mechanism of binary synthesis, as they also enumerate the indeterminate zone between finite states.

“Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space” – Luciana Parisi

The Computational Haze aims to utilize computational algorithms to create a cyber space for us to escape from computational mediation, and be free from its effect to radicalize ideology. Through this series of research, we investigate computation’s tendency to radicalize and explore the possibility for digital messages to be approximated but not instrumentalized – to situate one within the zone of uncomputable. 

The Hazy Corner is the first attempt in the series. It borrowed one of the most primitive and familiar form of online communication as the field of experimentation. We try to build an alternative internet experience filled with the Computational Haze.

What would our inter-connected digital space feel if we stop our tireless persuade on externalized effectiveness and try to balance between openness and functionality?

We wrote a longer article about the theoretical background of the idea of Computational Haze.

The Chatroom

We created a chat room filled with digital haze. Inside this chatroom, every message sent goes through a special filter. Through this filter, some words are masked and destroyed. Messages become incomplete, fragmented, irreparably broken. The filter algorithm runs blindly to the literal meaning of the message, without bias or human manipulation.