PSFK speaks with artist and computer scientist Jonathan Harris on the paradoxical characters of data and how to live a fulfilled life

If an alien species came to earth and were to observe the human species, what would it see? It’s not unlikely that what would stand out is our obsession with constant scrolling, clicking and typing through the Internet: the frantic nature of our contemporary online existence. Network Effect, an art project created by Jonathan Harris, is a snapshot of the human condition as presented on the Internet.

The project exaggerates the feeling of browsing through the voyeuristic window of the Web and explores the psychological effect of Internet use on humanity. It is about information overload, data worship, online self-promotion and beyond. It is a reflection on our online culture. But most importantly, it is smelling salts that help people realize that human attention ultimately is just like any other natural resource: finite.

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