Into the Blind is an intervention into the behavior of a GPS software, conducted in order to explore the possibilities and consequences of opening a contemporary black box.
It is an experimental navigational prototype, challenging the habituated, deterministic position of the user. Alternative navigational scenarios are developed and offered to inquire into the nature and possibilities of producing technological narratives and practices.Stemming from an urge for a physical and figurative opening of the black box of closed systems, these navigational offers are created to investigate the space between human perception and technological structures, in order to render visible the decisions existing behind every neutral technology.
In a classical hacker tradition, on the example of one of the most hermetic systems (the GPS system, created primarily for military purposes), the intervention builds on the strategy of the situationist detournament with speculative technology.
Using the primary rule of interface design – giving the user the feeling of having control, the models 100-300 position themselves inside the triangle human-manipulation-technology. The features of the models go from fulfilling practical (model 100) to abstract (model 300) requests for convoluted routes, while their scope depicts the speculative possibilities of market rhetoric, enabled by the suggestiveness of technology itself. What connects these three models is an identical interpretation of tasks, in other words they are the same software, but as mechanisms of their inner workings are not visible, their package gives the impression of distinction and offers trust.
The material basis of today’s’ software suggestiveness is the vast communicative gap between human perception and code that resides in a specific complex technology, as well as the increasing speed of software and device development in the direction of intuitiveness. The greater gap between code and human logical understanding, the greater the possibilities of interpretation, therefore access to the inner workings of technological structures becomes the privilege of today, and a carrier of social power. Moreover, the growing frequency of regulations towards a centralization of informational-communicative processes plays an important political role in the direction of control over technological practices.
As a laboratory of technological consumption, Into the Blind celebrates the mantra of practicing performative code and calls for a freedom of software intervention, through the in-between language of human and machine, or as Katherine Hayles would say: “We become the codes we punch”...