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PUSH BUTTON

A large grey structure with a bright red curtain that resembles both a photo booth and a voting booth sits to the side of an institutional hallway. You approach, drawn by the curious object with its red curtain and large empty screen. As you enter the space enclosed by the curtain, you are presented with your own image on the television. You appear grainy and slightly time-lapsed, as if part of a stop motion animation. There is a delay between when you are captured and the transmission of your image to the screen. The mixture of your image and the low fidelity effect is easily enjoyable. You chose to either pull the curtain closed for privacy or leave it open so that others can see your interaction with the camera. Beneath the monitor is a small red button, which in the spirit of investigation and interaction, you push. When this button is pushed, a red bar appears across the bottom of the monitor with the words "Recording 15" written on it in black. Over the next fifteen seconds, the number counts down to zero, whereupon the bar and text disappear.

Some viewers are fascinated by their image on TV, but suddenly become uncomfortable when they are given an indication that their presence in front of the camera is possibly being recorded. Others take more readily to the idea of being recorded and push the button multiple times, developing a relationship over time with the camera. Ultimately, all are left with no indication of the outcome of the process. Unlike a voting or photo booth where you are given some evidence of your presence, you are given little feedback from this experience, only the thought that you might have been recorded for a certain period of time and the knowledge that you have no control over what that possible recording may be used for in the future. These uncomfortable questions lead the viewer to consider ways in which we participate both knowingly and unknowingly in the collection of information about ourselves, and of the undefined parameters of how that information can be used.