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    A funny thing happened on my way to THE FUTURE
    The other day I went to buy some EMT at Home Depot. It was just like every other day, until I noticed a small screen with a glowing green LED at the end of the Electrical aisle. I approached it, tapped it, stroked it, tried to discover it's purpose. No luck. It merely displayed an illuminated orange Home Depot logo. A complete waste of plasma. As I walked up to the self-checkout aisle I found myself standing in front of another one of these plasma dumps - only this time, I found myself.

    Being surveilled has been common practice for as long as I can remember, but to be confronted with yourself as you try to legitimately make a purchase was quite unique. It was as if the corporate headquarters at home depot decided to emulate those really awkward one way video chat conversations.

    Was someone going to pop up next to you on screen if they saw your eyes dart back to the Reeses's peanut butter cups, force you to look yourself in the eyes and try to talk you out of stealing it?

    I couldn't really quiet understand how or why this new form of self-surveillance had been implemented. These screens seemed to serve no other purpose. There were was no inventory search functionality, no home depot trivia, no opportunity to spy on fellow shoppers in the shower door department. It wasn't your standard monitor hanging above the entrance and exit. It was some new form of Jiminny Cricket, your only hurting yourself here style surveillance.

    The next day I went back to return the items I had bought the previous day, and as I handed over the goods to the woman behind the register I once again watched myself look back at myself as I performed the inverse transaction.

    I wondered if this form of consumer reflection made anyone felt righteous about making a purchase. If nothing else it made me feel very identified, as my physical self were being migrated into a vast network of reflections looking out at me from various locations within the store. As if my image multiplied on countless sources scattered throughout any given location would soon take up more physical space than my singular human body.

    I wonder if that's the head trip Home Depot was anticipating when they decided these monitors were a worthy expenditure....

    Mon, Apr 4, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: social transformation
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    Nokadota     Tue, Apr 5, 2011  Permanent link
    That really is bizarre ...
    gabrielrud     Fri, May 18, 2012  Permanent link
    Very intresting...
    remaind me of Nam June Paik´s TV Buddha
    sonicport+techfolder     Mon, Jun 18, 2012  Permanent link
    When I was a kid the monitors had an infra-red on/off switch and I could project a virtual finger to them and thereby hunt them with a Casio watch with built in TV remote. Using this new found power I could walk into art galleries and retail outlets and turn them off, independently of the funding grants and security firms that set them up, or turn the audio up to make sure everyone could hear what they had to say.

    In the future they will take the gaffer tape off the IR sensors, and once again it will be playtime.