The i-DAT Collective created a series of new commissions and creative interventions at Plymouth Arts Centre referencing to the prominence of online social networks titled “S-OS: Social Operating System for Plymouth”. This later became a collection of creative interventions and strategic actions that provide a new and more meaningful ‘algorithm’ for modeling social exchange, evaluation and impact, proposing a more effective ‘measure’ for ‘Quality of Life’.
The idea of a ‘Social Operating System’ (referencing computer Operating Systems such as Mac OSX and Windows) has emerged through the prominence of OnLine Social Networking Software such as Facebook and Myspace. These websites, the software that drives them and the online communities that thrive around them form a “platform for online living where all social activities are integrated.” Wired (2007).
The S-OS project provides an Operating System for the social life of the City of Plymouth. It superimposes the notion of an ‘OnLine’ Social Operating System onto ‘RealLife’ human interactions, modeling, analyzing and making visible the social exchange within the City.
Whilst town planners and architects model the ‘physical’ City and Highways Department’s model the ‘temporal’ ebb and flow of traffic in and around the City, S-OS will model the ‘invisible’ social exchanges of the City’s inhabitants. Plymouth Arts Centre will be converted into a ‘Central Processing Unit’ to run S-OS as a RealLife Social Operating System, generating creative interventions and strategic manifestations on, by and for the citizens of Plymouth.
The S-OS Algorithm: A(n):= [r = 1,2,…..N], where A(n) is probably the value of Social Exchange or the Quality of Life, and [r = 1,2,…..N] are the numerous calculations that happen within a city. These calculations constitute an invisible fabric woven through the everyday processes of social exchange (a smile, a swap, a sneer) and can be understood as a Social Operating System when made manifest through the use of digital technologies.
Each of the S-OS applications exhibited in the S-OS exhibition generates a value. The S-OS Index takes the various value feeds from across the exhibition space (as represented by ‘r’) and allows visitors to the exhibition to prioritise one input over the other. This last ambiguous human interaction provides the final value of A(n)! The calculation is complete.
Collaboration: i-DAT Collective with Paula Orrell from Plymouth Art Centre
Role: Curator / Technologist / Artist