Unknown Territories: Searching for Islands – Vinzenz Aubry and Merani Schilcher

How does one find a place of which you don’t know if it exists?

When looking for information online, you are probably most familiar with finding such using a search engine but the search is only as successful as you make it. It largely relies on how much you already know beforehand.

“Unknown Territories” marks an exploration into search engines that are not limited by language and into finding information without prior knowledge. Most of our evolutionary history has been spent in nature, resulting in an innate love of natural settings. Humans also have a compulsion to leave tracks across this earth and discovering previously unknown places offers the possibility of making a mark on history. A land surrounded by water is perceived as the perfect place for utopian experiments and paradise on earth.

With the haptic search engine “Searching for Islands”, we are giving users the opportunity to shape landmasses like a god. While shaping the sand, a camera captures the outlines of the given body, matching it in realtime with a database of 75.000 satellite images of islands all over the planet. As you transform the shape, the installation doesn’t stop comparing, constantly returning its findings.

Find your perfect holiday setting, the island of your dreams.

The project was realized for the topic “Navigation, Orientation, Information” within the context of the New Media Class at Berlin University of the Arts during the summer semester of 2019.

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