Techne Vanitas is an interactive installation giving the viewers/participants a space to collectively think about the idea of a modern "self". In the context of the installation, the theatricality and the narratives are rhetorical strategies suggesting the potential to engage critically with the stage. Providing an open tool box with writing and drawing materials, people are invited to touch, write and draw on any surface.
By drawing from analogue rhetoric and methods of research from psychology, design and marketing, people can therefore record their thoughts and emotions as symbols, drawings and words.
Prompts mention emotional aesthetics of device usage, like an accidental or desired sense of loneliness and boredom in environments where communication and other interactions are progressively more mediated by digital and screen technologies, or the exciting alienation of playing with algorithms like autocorrect.
Questions about privacy, surveillance and agency are also raised, especially with regards to a redefinition of "humanity" and "human" in the context of massive data collection.
The sculptural elements of the installation, especially the figure of Lalacra (The Scourge), a fictional transhuman character made of accumulated parts and blobbed matter, speak to the centrality and diffuseness of the human body as a place where these reconfigurations take place.
The viewer’s participation is collected after the exhibition, and the is correlated to the recordings taken from the YI Home camera inside the sculpture (a technology product for controlling the insides of your homes, your dogs, your babies, from afar). This affective, collective research is an illustration of introspective landscapes in the mutual construction of the collective and the individual, a threshold for shaping the ontologies of sociotechnical systems.