People Knowing, 2010

In collaboration with Bora Shin/ view with the HD button on!

For this project, the assignment was to investigate both an electronic and a physical Non-Place and find out hidden truths and realities beyond the reading.

In an essay and book of the same title, Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity(1995), Marc Auge coined the phrase "non-place" to refer to places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places." Examples of a non-place would be a motorway, a hotel room, an airport or a supermarket. [Wikipedia]

We wanted to explore the idea of death in digital space and found out an Internet cemetery which allows the Tamagotchi to be buried when it dies. The language used in this digital space shows the strong attachment users feel toward their pet Tamagotchi. Sometimes the attachment to the virtual animal is so strong that they become extremely depressed when it dies. These users deal with the death of a virtual animal in a similar manner to that of a human.

We collected quotes from the users of Tamagotchi Internet cemetery, presented them as if they were for a living creature hiding the fact that it was about Tamagotchi, and observed how viewers perceived the messages. Many people didn't notice the subject until 'R.I.P Tamagotchi' was revealed at the very end.