For my intervention work I decided to ask people on Omegle who they were voting for. I was surprised by the ranges of results, with some people going in depth about the dangers of a ruler with unchecked power and other people asking that I show my tits.
There were a lot of bots who did not seem like they were going to vote which is probably for the best.
There were also people outside of the U.S. who talked about their own political system, with many feeling that a two party system doesn’t really work.
A lot of people disconnected almost immediately.
There were a lot of interesting people.
People didn’t seem to be buying into the whole ‘blue wave’ idea.
People were supportive of my team though.
This intervention was inspired by the then upcoming midterm election, with the idea of carrying the political weight of the 2018 midterms to a virtual space composed on a basis of randomness and escapism. For my project I thought it would be funny to do polling surveys on Omegle, highlighting the idea of face to face interactions and calling into question what subjects people do and don’t want to approach with randomly assigned strangers. I also thought the idea of adding politics back into a space that was virtually devoid of it was interesting, acting as an almost polar opposite to New Games that brought people together in opposition of the current political climate, and Tactical Media that sought to undermine oppressive systems.
To start I wanted to act the part, with the suit alone hopefully adding a false air of seriousness and validity similar to that of the Yes Men. Unlike the Yes Men however, I wanted to introduce a serious political discussion in the face of many penises, in fact the opposite of the Yes Men Managerial Leisure Suit.
While the vast majority of people on video chat didn’t respond, I was happy with the meaningful conversations I was able to have from people all over the world in the chat only section, and did appreciate the few times people video chatting did diverge from their ordinary behavior.