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Before my very I 

October 30 & 31. 2021, at PACT Zollverein

After our intense journey with the crossmedia project „Made to Measure“, which dealt with anonymous data donations, we created a live performance on stage where we applied the analytical skills we had developed for „Made to Measure“. 

In „Before my very I“ we - the group Laokoon - initiate a live data experiment on stage in front of an audience. We analyze the personality of one of the audience members – based solely on that person’s anonymous digital data.


An audience full of people, 4 selected data sets and one deeper analysis. Who is the person behind the data?


The show begins with the audience being asked to rise. One by one first insights gained through the google data are used to find the four people who willingly sent their data beforehand and who get asked on to the stage. 


“Please sit down if you have never thought about joining the military”.

“Please sit down if you do not have a peculiar relationship to horse riding literature”.


The questions follow each other rapidly until each person behind each data set in question is standing alone. 

We repeat this process until we have the four people we selected and who gave their data down on stage with us. 

But from the four data sets, only one will be analysed in depth. The people in the audience, with each new insight, have to refine their guesses on who it could be.


During the show more and more will be uncovered about the selected data: How does the person score on the Ocean 5 Model* if you consider musical taste? How does the person score if you consider their taste in film genres? Does it change anything to the results if you add a semantic analysis of the film descriptions? (Yes it does!). 


Are there any correlations that tell us something about their deeply ingrained patterns? 

Can we find something they might not know about themselves?

A data analyst is sitting in her cabin on stage and working over the numbers. Can she create a protrait of the person behind the data? While she works, the 4 people who gave their data sets prior to the show, have to complete personality tasks. How prone are they to feel disgust? Does that reveal anything about their political views? How do they deal with being taken by surprise? 

Combining the gathered evidence from the evening and the data analysis, the audience members vote who they believe to be behind the data. But will the person resemble their data?

*Ocean 5 is a widely recognised psychological assessment tool.

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