The Augmented Filter Bubble

If the self affirming ‘filter bubble’ of technology continues into the future, our cities may become host to millions of individual versions/visions, each tailored to meet the expectations and biases of the individuals who see them. Like Mieville’s city and the city, the same space hosts multiple places. In a ‘augmented/mixed reality’ city, each person lives in a city of one, overlaid on everyone else’s.

These images are all of the same moment in time, on the same street, seen through different eyes.

view-1Paul Jamieson is a British Nationalist, living in his London apartment which has been in his family for generations. Around him the city has diversified and his neighbourhood has become a cultural hotspot for newly arrived immigrants seeking opportunity in the Global City. For Paul, his house is a comforting refuge beset on all sides by danger and wilderness. 

view-2For Nadia Cheng, recently arrived in London from central China, this street is welcoming. Her eyes show her the colour and vibrance of her potential new life. A passerby is highlighted as a potential friend. She can’t even see Paul’s house. To her, it is a beautiful concrete edifice, supporting new growth. 

view-0The un-augmented view shows a London street, largely unaltered from it’s historic form, except for the addition of machine-readable markers, facilitating the many worlds present here.

From here I still need to propose/image the counter scenario to this condition – Le’s districts in the city – the spaces that cannot be customised/personalised – the representation of the collective imaginary rather than the individual’s.

Over the coming weeks I hope to develop these two concepts of mixed reality in the city (filtered by the individual and filtered by the collective), and storyboard a narrative that can become a short film. The aim is to have a draft of the film for the next jury and to continue developing that next year (alongside more issues of Black Box for TS).


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2 Responses to The Augmented Filter Bubble

  1. Natasha Sandmeier says:

    This weekend’s Saturday Night Live had a skit on The Bubble – it’s pretty perfect.