As an artefact of a future past, this is one of the last remaining automated public confessionals in existence. Originally provided by governing bodies as a means of public surveillance and pacifying, these public cubicles masked as personal reflection were initially accepted and well used. However in time their true intention was realised, and they became figureheads of public retaliation against an iron fisted bureaucracy. Ranging from graffiti to complete destruction, no public confessional was spared during the riots of this period, and this piece shows the scarring of these acts.
Often referencing their love of science fiction, Cake Industries enjoys bringing to life themes and objects that have weighed on their minds that appear to have roots in events happening today. “Automated Confessional ZK465” references strongly the government deity of “Ohm” from George Lucas’ first film “THX 1138” (1971) and joins it with some of the concepts raised in the book “Caves of Steel” by Isaac Asimov (1954). Cake Industries sees strong links to these dystopian futures in some aspects of the news today, especially in light of revelations of the NSA’s “PRSM” wide reaching data collection program, and even more recently the news of the FBI intentionally installing malware on the general public’s computers for tracking purposes.
Upon entering the ragged and artificially aged booth, the visitor is given their own space to discuss their daily problems and concerns with an automated agent that continues to prompt and press for information in a cold mechanical way. The visitor is presented with a face to link the entity to, randomly chosen from a collection of dismembered faces with little to no significance or intention. Just like the “Turing Test” initially conceived as a thought experiment by Alan Turing in 1950, it doesn’t take long for the visitor to realise that there is no real intelligence, and that their confessions are being heard by the equivalent of a speaking toaster, leaving a cold and empty feeling of depth.
“Automated Confessional ZK465” is a work completed earlier this year as part of a series of objects that formed a solo show “Future Relic”.