Site Visits

Site Visits turns websites into 3D landscapes, treating each webpage as a website, a structural site and a cultural site — and collapsing these different modes of 'site' into imagined worlds.

site-visits-installation

The algorithm. Fulfilment Factory.The algorithm. Fulfilment Factory.

Co-created with Amelie Dinh.

While we experience websites as two-dimensional, the code behind them is structural, and made of levels of nested elements. In Site Visits, websites are turned into 3D landscapes based on their code structure. These landscapes are used as the physical and conceptual foundations upon which to build VR worlds that survey the cultural aspects of each site.

Inspired by the discontinued Mozilla developer tool Tilt, Site Visits considers each webpage as a multisite: a website, a structural site and a cultural site, and explores these different modes of “site” by collapsing them into imagined worlds.

In Site Visits we unpack digital culture topics including surveillance capitalism and the hidden control and power of algorithmic black boxes. We interrogate the power structures behind online spaces perceived to be “public” or “free”, the production of knowledge online, hidden biases and the complications of digital governance. And uniquely, we do so by using the website’s structural surface as the terrain, co-locating the website’s skin and the site of discourse. This combination and juxtaposition opens a new space for meaning and interpretation in an ecosystem overflowing with disparate sources of information .

Irrigation Station CloseupIrrigation Station CloseupThrough worldbuilding and experiential storytelling, we expand our cultural imaginary and offer another way into synthesizing digital culture and materiality. We make very familiar places unfamiliar again, interrupting the passive gaze and consumption of sites that we visit frequently and spend hours on without thought. Through telling imagined and fantastic stories, and creating moments and gestures of worlds, we provide new visual languages, new stories and new starting points upon which to explore some of the most prominent themes and territories of our digital culture.

Fulfilment Factory (2021)

Site: youtube.com

YouTube's recommendation algorithm aims to maximize viewer watch time. While its impact is complex and far-reaching, the algorithm itself is proprietary - entirely unknown to those who use the platform.

In Fulfilment Factory, Dinh & Kourtoukov imagine the algorithm at work. Using the repetition and shape of YouTube's code structure, they turn the website into an industrial landscape, and its algorithm into the workers of this landscape. These workers watch you watching the content. They are literal tastemakers, sampling content for what might hold you captive. They are personal content shoppers, video sommeliers, here to match every unknown need.

Fulfilment Factory OverviewFulfilment Factory Overview

Irrigation Station (2021)

Site: wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopedia

Irrigation Station imagines the accumulated growth of knowledge on a Wikipedia entry: the layered contributions, the rhizomatic hyperlinks, and most importantly, the elaborate protocols and infrastructure that enable this growth.

Drawing on the stark edifice provided by the code structure of the page's citations section, Dinh & Kourtoukov visualize Wikipedia's editing process - the process of collecting, distilling, and distributing the varied inputs that feed each of the encyclopedia's entries. In doing so, the work points to the multitude of both benevolent and self-interested forces that erected and continue to act through the site's infrastructure to produce and codify our daily knowledge.

LOOOOP

LOOOOP is an ongoing collaboration between Boris Kourtoukov and Amelie Dinh. Merging our backgrounds in creative technology, media art, design and research we produce born-digital, interactive work that engages with the materiality of emerging technologies and the social underpinnings of our digital culture. For additional updates follow the Loooop Studio Instagram.

 

Site Visits Trailer

site-visits-installation

 

January 2022 Exhibition

Når det gjelder akkurat samtidens utfordringer og hvordan kunsten kan kartlegge dem – eller i det minste gi oss nye utkikkspunkt – er Amelie Dinh & Boris Kourtoukovs bidrag utvilsomt det mest originale. Deres videoverker, som beskues på skjerm, kan også sees med VR-briller – og det er først da man får grep om poenget.

Duoen har nemlig transformert algoritmene som ligger i bakgrunnen for Wikipedia og Youtube til et tredimensjonalt landskap.

Kjetil Røed, Vårt Land

site-visits-installation
Photo: Kunstdok/ Tor S. Ulstein
site-visits-installation
Photo: Kunstdok/ Tor S. Ulstein

Photo: Jonas VetlesenPhoto: Jonas Vetlesen

site-visits-installation
Photo: Jonas Vetlesen