The project hitchhiking consists of making virtual hitchhiking trips without moving out of my studio. The project starts every time the computer is left alone in the street. Skype is on, and I'm on the screen. I start there my hitchhiking trips, where I start to communicate with passers by and ask them to carry me towards my destination. I can shout, I can ask for help, it's me (or a virtual me) without a body, struggling to go somewhere.
As in all hitchhiking trips, every trip is a new adventure, meeting new people, running the risk of being kidnapped, or getting lost, or ending up alone somewhere without my body. That means that I'm not having total control over it, I can imagine all kind of possibilities in my head and try to be as prepared as possible, but in this case, chance has an important role.
In every trip, I am in the studio, behind my own computer with Skype on, recording my screen. The traveling computer (virtual me) is traced all the time and located in a map. The end result is the screen recording from my window of Skype and the maps with the itinerary. When I’m travelling, this is live streamed on the website, you can also find an archive of the past itineraries on the menu. The computer has been manipulated and turned into a mobile computer installation with the shape of a suitcase. The laptop is secured, for the case it gets stolen, with GPS locator, remote control, and other security anti thief software.
I am interested in exploring modern ways of communication, already existing, but giving them a different use. Videoconference applications like Skype are already fully integrated and used in our society, and mobile internet for laptops is also getting there. What are the possibilities that this offer to us, in which ways it changes our lives, how it changes the definition of spaces and social interactions. I am interested in exploring virtual and real spaces and how we can interact there.
I am also interested in the concepts of tracing objects, security and privacy; and how every new invention of piece of technology is little by little redefining this concepts and changing our society. What if all the objects, spaces and people would be tagged and traceable? Are we already now? How people will react? I am also interested in the sociological aspects of the project. Would the audience get excited and would they get involved and become participants? Would they spend a little time taking “me” on their way? Would they steal the computer or leave it again alone?