Room #3, from The Offline Website Project

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Nothing captures the experience of 2020's pandemic like making a video conference call. Be it for work or personal reasons, most of us opened our domestic life to the online world via these platforms; Zoom probably rising to the top of the list. Personal space became public in our desire or requirement to connect, and these platforms became a new room in most of our homes. This piece, Room #3, engages these ideas by presenting a peculiar Zoom call by me and a set of copies of myself to question these kinds of connections: always alone in the physical space, but always connected in unexpected ways to a multitude of known interlocutors and unknown human and non-human agents.

Room #3 is a cross-over piece between two projects, The Offline Website Project (TWOP) and Corporate Poetry. Originally an HTML website meant to never leave my home computer, it now circulates as a video documenting the experience of one of my interactions with my own website. Thematically, as part of the larger Corporate Poetry, it explores how corporate language relates to that other corpora that is our bodies. The piece includes a short 40-second introduction to TOWP and then it moves to a Zoom conversation between 4 replicas of me who experience traditional Zoom issues such as audio problems, turned off cameras and so on. This goes on loop for a bit, until the supposedly private conversation with myself expands onto the realization that this conversation, like millions of others (also depicted into new screens with violent and uncensored content), is being recorded, and all their information analyzed to serve Zoom’s unselective data gathering purposes.

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Room #3

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Alex Saum