Lucia Dossin


Oscilating between art and design, my work looks at actual, possible and desirable relationships between humans and computers through its fundamentals: user-friendliness, interfaces, user-generated data and technological literacy. These are not stand-alone topics—they relate to bigger and more complex matters, such as work, privacy, culture, socio-economic structures, environmental issues and citizenship. As humans' relationship with computers is primarily (and historically) based on the notion of labour mitigation, effort is a common element in my practice.

In my work I try to involve a broad audience, which makes me search for different strategies, supports and contexts. A recurrent method, though, is the modification of one single aspect of one element in a 'scene' - be it structural, aesthetic or functional. While remaining within a frame that is familiar to the user, the original (modified) aspect is highlighted by contrast. It is an attempt to approach complex matters—social issues within a dialectical perspective—in a form which is aesthetically accessible to many.

One important aspect in my work is the desire to question the usual conception of the term 'user-friendliness'. Described by the Oxford Learner's Dictionary as 'the quality of being easy for people who are not experts to use or understand', the term acquires a radical meaning if 'or' is substituted with 'and'. In Let me Think I attempt to deconstruct the traditional interpretation of user-friendliness by intercepting the button-click that places the order into the shopping cart, in Amazon websites.

The economic relevance of user-generated data is a topic I explored in AddWords, a performance and application based on Google's ad system, made for an evening of lectures about the Gig Economy. Resembling stock market displays, fed with manual transcriptions of the lectures during the evening and processed by Google Ad system, the project illustrates the current financial—and power—circuit comprising data, money, digital infrastructure and work.

In order to comment on work automation, labour versus leisure, creative professions and authenticity—all intrinsically related—I created Excelfie - Derivation #1. Trying to claim back part of what has been transferred to computers from us, humans, I combine digital culture and social media (here represented by the selfie), algorithmic analysis and workflow automation to perform the role of a human printer. The production process is slow and error-prone but the resulting selfies are nevertheless extremely popular.

I am interested in exploring metaphors and designing interactions that require co-participation. An aim towards intelligible content and a desire for active interaction with a broad audience are central elements in my practice—as topic, method and goal.