IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S US is a post-synchronous* collective text to speech adventure, embodying everyday contractual codification such as Terms of Service, Codes of Conduct and Patents. A script, a scripture, a code to conduct, a contract to be executed, a text to embody. A performance. An acting out. A vocalisation. A correspondence and a public rehearsal.
What is IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S US?
IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S US is a text to speech adventure and collective online performance, with its title taken from an example of an app error message signalling the unclear language and intimate tone used in negotiating the service with a user. When we think of participation in distributed social environments, it mostly emerges from a consensual act of a will-to-engage. But what about participating in the terms of service agreements we implicitly accept when downloading and using an app? How do regulation, accountability, power and identity manifest in self governing Codes of Conduct of various communities versus top-down Terms of Service? How does the landscape of patents to be, or patents in reserve operate?
What all of these spaces have in common is that they are legal documents that define the grounds upon which a certain service is to be used (or community is to behave) and as a contract explain the obligations of both the service and the user. As such, they are conceptually demanding, long and often hermetic to read. IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S US is therefore a collective reading of these spaces, done distributed and asynchronous in net time, creating a mass voice, similar to the classical chorus. The wisdom of the group on the codes of our time.
In the common scenario of the year 2020, when one is participating in activities across the globe from the comfort of one's home, it is not surprising to wake up in a situation of being active at all times of the day and night, sometimes in multiple locations and time zones. This artificial compensational functionality accumulates into over time, defeating its purpose. Considering the global pandemic and the make-believe of a completely functional society collapsing "real-time" into "unreal time" we are creating a post-synchronous event as a decompressing community experience. Furthermore, we prescribe to the notion of deep time and kairos, not kronos - doing things at the right time, as a necessity for the informational landscape we live in.
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S US is not: a real time game. It is not a text adventure, but is inspired by the format of the text adventure. It is a text to speech adventure.
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S US is a kairos-based game. There will be one activity per day and it is up to you when you do it. For this reason and for the most optimal experience, we recommend that you turn off your notifications. It is set out for the duration of a week, but if you feel like contributing at a later stage, no worries, the drama is ongoing!
Would you like to join??
How does it work?
Sign up at the event form
You receive an email prompt inviting you to perform, record your voice and send it back as an email reply.
The voice recording becomes part of the anonymous collective database.
At the end of the event, you will receive a special gift and access to the generated vocal outputs in the form of a web drama.
P.S. There are also surprise gifts at the end.
This project is a collaboration between The Terms of Service Fantasy Reader, The Repeater Archive, Voice of Conduct, Let’s Amplify Unspeakable Things, the Techne Lab and the MAL.
*Post-synchronous participation takes on a temporality opposed to an asynchronous one, reflecting on the aftermath of the omnisynchronous context of 2020 and the multiplicity of remote presence in time