Andrés Villa Torres

Media Arts / Creative Code

Critical Mass (Artificial Lovers)

Connected installation exploring behaviours of digital crowds and the limitis of self exposure, social participation, data ethics and sharing culture. The installation was presented at Pasquart Centre in Biel in Summer 2017. It stayed open to the public for a week con- necting the exhibition space with an existing live chat community. The data retreived from the recorded footage is being used to train other systems.


Critical mass is an installation that connects the exhibition space with an stablished video chat engine where visitors can have conversations through live stream media with random people connected through the internet. The video chat engine has been active since 2009 and has been pioneer in what modern dating platforms concern. The installation exposes both the con- nected viewers and the visitors and twists the surveillance roles by asking who are the obser- vers and who are the observed? Who are the lovers and the ones seeking for love? Who are the exposers and the self exposed? In the background of the installation a real time engine stores visual, textual and audible data in real time and feeds an Artificial Love System which ultima- tely is being trained to “love”.
The concept of critical mass refers to the multiplicity and to the amount of social agents who are necessary in order for a collective change to happen. It may also refer to a social stage which is observed when a certain behaviour gets accepted and stablished.
Originally the term comes from the nuclear physics and refers to the minimum amount of mat- ter necessary in order to start and maintain a nuclear chain reaction. As a metaphor of this, the term has been often used in social network marketing in order to define the breaking point at which a certain behaviour reaches the zenith and shifts towards a positive growth.
The installation intends to display the contemporary ways in which humans interact with each other over the internet in the seek of acknowledgement and contact to others. It also renders the biased demographics that such systems can carry along specially when the data collected is used for further automated processes.

Artificial Lovers Video Sample