Human beings are living through an age of digital conflict. The aggressive rollout of social media not only diminishes the psychological distance between us but also takes our argument to new dimensions. With shorter-form content and more prompt responses, we hardly have enough space or time to distinguish reality from fantasy or expand the depth of online discussions. We are seemingly satisfied with our own parallel universes and fragmented experience landscape curated by algorithms. But if not being able to establish the common ground with each other, how likely can we develop a constructive conversation?
'What We Talk About When We Talk About ___' is an ongoing web art experiment consolidating performance and social practice, which unpacks the tension between the competing narratives by intervening in Twitter debates with fundamental questions. The project employs the reply/retweet mechanism to invite participants to clarify ambiguous terminology they referred to and observes how the newly created anchor points divert the conversations from the flow of information. Through the activities, the project also examines the artists’ roles in the polarised public sphere with both decentralised and centralised networks.

Adam Hsieh (concept development/art direction/production)
Web art, interactive
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