Friend of a Friend of a Dead Friend
New Ecology of Things, 2011

An interactive gravestone that tells your degree of separation to the departed

'Friend of a friend of a dead friend' is a project that looks at a massively networked and sensored world, but takes an ironic perspective on this future world which either makes fun of it, comments on the dangers, demonstrates some inherent contradictions by creating an useless application.

Establishing shared connections is a common basis of interaction when meeting people. Metcalfe's law states that the number of potential connections between nodes(people) in a network grows more quickly than the number of nodes(people.) I believe that within a networked and sensored future world, all of our transactions will be documented. The capability of a vast database which can carry detailed information suggests a future where social networking could be applied to and embedded in everything, even a gravestone.

When approaching a gravestone, and LCD shows the visitor the degrees of separation between himself and the departed. This changes the act of visiting a cemetery from a private experience to more of a social one. Whichever gravestone you visit, you're likely to discover a social connection. However, what does this connection mean to us? Other than emphasizing we live in a small and clustered world, attaining this information is useless and distracting. My intention here was to amplify the danger of a pervasive network by using a location-specific media-gravestone.

I had to access a remote sensor/effector at least 20 feet apart from my project. I used a sensor feed from Jayne's project. Emoticons on the gravestone change, triggered by the xbee used in her project.

Arduino, Adobe Flash, Floor mat Sensor and NET Lab Toolkit were used to create this project.