Dear Visitor,
My name is Valia Fetisov . I'm a media artist and software engineer interested in the intersection of social psychology and technology. More specifically, my passion is constructing artificial situations to explore people's reactions. If you don't want to read further, here is a video that introduces my work.
Currently I'm working on Diane: a public voicemail of a fictional character; and My little PRISM: a tool to observe your friends' social life. Both are internet-based projects that assume user involvement.
Diane is a fictional character that you can speak to. You can send her audio messages using your phone as you would to anyone else. On the next day you will receive her public voicemail consisting of audio messages sent by other users.
This is a simple way to speak to non-human matter and see how other people interact with it. Feel free to try out the public alpha version of
The name “Diane” is referencing Dale Cooper's never-seen assistant in the well known “Twin Peaks” series by David Lynch. Picture: © David Lynch & Mark Frost
It is a mysterious problem to socialise the most social thing in human nature: speech. Texts are social; most of the produced pictures and videos became social, but audio has not. My thought is that it's just because of the GUI-centric technical world that we have now.
But things are changing fast: we are already at 95% accuracy of voice recognition and we will be speaking with our computers very soon. The transition to algorithms with personal names is even closer. It's now more native to us that conversational agents have identities; we assume that they remember all previous conversations and are social by default. And it's easier to invent an imaginary person than to talk to yourself.
But the key work for understanding the direction of my interests is the Installation of experience (2011). It is a room with an automatic door at the entrance, which closes each time someone comes in, so people are trapped there for an unknown amount of time with no instructions for how to get out.
To get deeper into my story, I started to work in the field in 2010 with a project called The Worst: I explored an existing photographic website by collecting the worst images according to the community rankings. I was interested in the phenomenon of leftovers or in the ability of a community to force out some specific materials.
Some of my other works include: Space of a sound (2011), a distributed sound trap; Control yourself (2012), a way of entering into a video surveillance system; and Paranoiapp (2015), a tool or social psychology experiment in the form of a mobile application.
Current exhibitions: “Hosting the inhuman” in MOMMA, Moscow, Russia; “89plus: Americans 2017” at LUMA Westbau, Zürich, Switzerland, through September 3rd. Past events
Write me if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading,