Generally Personalized

three channel video projection
2min. 35sec.


California Institute of the Arts (D301) documentation


Language shapes how we see the world and ourselves, but also reflects the ways of understanding them. I found this circle of construction and reflection in automatically generated texts in smartphones.

In smartphones, there is a feature to instantly predict what words the users will type next. Each phone is supposed to learn the habit of the user and the information should exist only in the local device. However, from viewing many highly personalized devices, I can see there is a collective voice over multiple devices, besides the unique voice of each user. Though it is a private information leak problem or an intervention of writing algorithm, I believe we can see certain habits repeated within the language of a society, and thus have a chance to peep at prevailing beliefs and values of the society. Plus, there is censorship in generating text with a smart device that allows the device to suggest only “acceptable” language without any violence or profanity, excluding words that do not exist in its word pool.

On December 2015 at CalArts, I exhibited two works that each presented what a phone reflects regarding a user’s previous text in Ventriloquial Triptych(iOS 9, English), and what automatically-written-texts from multiple devices reflects in Generally Personalized.