Susanna Hertrich

Reality Checking Device

Interactive information machine (2008)


Software as contemporary oracle on a shiny surface: Common risk scenarios are represented by two conjunct circles that grow an bounce behind the mirror image when a finger touches the interface. The upper circle PUBLIC OUTRAGE represents the general attention given to a certain scenario while the lower circle ACTUAL THREAT shows its statistical counterpart (probability of being affected).


Reality Checking Device is an interactive machine which offers on its mirrored surface, statistical information on the current trends of paranoid concern: plane crashes, terrorist attacks, gun crime, bird flu etc. The work presents a surface where (physical) reflexion, (psychical) reflection, and (statistical) projection converge: the outline of our self-image is one traced by unfounded fears.
Emily Zimmerman, 2010


— Material & dimensions —

Mixed media: MDF, two-way mirror, acrylic, sensors, computer screen, microcontroller and software on hidden computer. Dimensions: 160 cm x 42 cm x 18 cm / 35 kg.

— Thanks —

Java code developed with the help of David Muth.