ASSAY // HEARSAY: participatory installation with interactive gold nugget, digital prints, HTML page with visitor face-images.

ASSAY // HEARSAY intertwines and twirls visitors' likenesses as they contact a gold bar in the gallery space. Still images of these combined faces are uploaded to a mock social media website, which is projected and displayed on-site and accessible online.


Adjacent to the gold bar sculpture are digital prints of combined face images and 3-D 'HE SAID SHE SAID' text. The html and C++ code that run the webpage and interactive gold bar hang as acetate prints.



Linking people across geographies, social media companies monetize users through their IRL and online friendships. ASSAY // HEARSAY examines a culture of social media that commodifies the face image.


ASSAY refers to the testing of a metal to determine its quality and ingredients. This exhibition aims to assay the properties of social media engagement and the resultant riches obtained by social media companies.


HEARSAY is reflected in the 'HE SAID SHE SAID' prints, which comment on the tendency of social media to report news and personal information through tidbits and excerpts, narrowing and filtering the complexity of the day-to-day experience through a curated set of comments and images.


The interactive gold bar activates C++ code that links and overlays the face images of gallery visitors and places these images on a mock social media website. This caricatures the appropriation of users' likenesses by social media sites.


The printed code displayed on the wall of the gallery allows users to consider the C++ and html that serve as the infrastructure of the installation. Unlike the code that runs social media websites, the ASSAY // HEARSAY code is rather simple. The basic act of face image appropriation and re-placement can be read and followed by a gallery visitor through the variables and functions visible in the printed code.



ASSAY // HEARSAY was a solo exhibition held at the
Colorado State Electronic Art Gallery in Fort Collins,
hosted by Professor Cyane Tornatzky.