Was du willst

Interactive installation with VR, 2019
Clemens Schöll

Was du willst (de: “What you want”) takes visitors through a highly orchestrated system of experiences. It all starts by registering with your personal data so that the system can start to call you and guide you through the process and ends with a print receipt of your alleged personally, as deducted from the data the system gathered about you.

The central question of “What do you really want?”, as posed by the system itself ahead of an initial stimuli reduction is interpreted at multiple levels:
First, if immersion is a desirable state, is it to be achieved by flooding every single sense we have as to leave no room for distraction (as VR supposedly does) or through the mental capacity of entering a state of “flow” or even meditation by reducing external stimuli.
Second, the notion of (digital) recommendation systems which claim to “know” what we want through technological means of data-observation combined with statistical tools, resulting in a questionable “understanding”.
Third, the existence and creation of (adaptive) digital environments which cater our psychology ever better and have reached a point — such as in games automatically adapting difficulty — where for many individuals they represent a more wantable life than our society can offer.