The birth of the internet, and the later growth of machine learning and hyper-targeted advertising, have changed the way that we interact with information. While they make it easy to find the content which you are looking for via search engines, they make it hard to stumble across totally unfamiliar content. Machine learning and hyper-targeted advertising in particular tend to also reinforce pre-existing biases, by showing users content which is similar to that which they have already interacted with. Analog libraries are unable to hyper-target content, by virtue of the fact that they show the same information to each user. They also allow the user to interact with totally unfamiliar information by simply walking into an unfamiliar place, and group information by topic in a manner which allows for organic exploration, rather than specific searches. However, because they are full-sized buildings, libraries are expensive to maintain. 8KLibrary exploits the resolution and size of an 8K display and the gesture-recognition capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect to make a virtual re-creation of an analog library. The screen we develop our application on is large enough (85”) to explore a to-scale virtual space, and the high-resolution permits the display of a large quantity of legible text.
The 8KLibrary was an active project during the summer of 2018, as part of my work with the Object Based Media Group at the MIT Media Lab through the MIT Summer Research Program.