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Systems That Construct Identity

Systems That Construct Identity
culture

Heath Bunting charts a map of British normality as seen by machines via his ongoing Status Project

Stephen Fortune
  • 16 november 2010

As anyone with the recent experience of completing an application form can attest to, we are increasingly faced with a dizzying combination of categories to slot our identities into. What happens if the relations between those categories are brought into sharper relief?

Heath Bunting’s ongoing Status Project has been exploring just that question since 2005; the project maps our identities as the legion of data capturing ‘content forms’ (both online and offline) conceive of us. The Abandon Normal Devices Festival has commissioned Heath to create a map of British normality as part of their digital culture and new cinema festival.

Abandon Normal Devices challenged him to map out normality and survey the system that constructs identity in Britain today. Consisting of data drawn from everyday bureaucracies for example the use of a television licence, rail card or mobile phone contract through governmental databases and the Internet. These are then linked to each other according to their dependencies and overlaps.

Abandon Normal Devices: Mapping British Normality

Status Project

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