Dan Webster + Michael Hanna
0.1km is a collaborative project by academic Dan Webster and artist Michael Hanna that utilises online advertising to explore the relationship between online and physical space.
This project uses Google Advertising’s location targeting which allows advertisers to serve ads to people within a specific geographical location or area. For the 0.1km project, images are served to users through Google’s Ad network inside a 0.1km radius in two cities: Belfast and Milan.
Users are chosen (or not) by Google’s algorithms to see the project’s ads through their mobile, computer or tablet screens as they browse the internet within the two 0.1km areas in Belfast and Milan. The ads/artwork consist of photographs of the areas contained within each 0.1km site that have been modified with the addition of images from the artist’s personal life. These added images appear as barricades in the street scenes, ‘demarcating’ the targeted boundaries of this virtual/real space.
This collaborative project intervenes in the advertising tools, algorithms and spaces of Google in order to make adspace strange; no longer just the background to your browsing, but a rupture in the fabric of the internet.
0.1km ultimately aims to complicate and challenge our understandings of and relationships to these surveillant and commercial spaces as they become an all too familiar and accepted presence in our everyday lives.
The project will run in both Belfast and Milan until 25th November 2018.
Will the Google algorithms select you? If you do see any of the ads online please share a screenshot on social media #0point1km
The featured artwork by Michael Hanna was produced for the 0.1km project during a residency at Gluck50, Milan in partnership with the MAC, Belfast.
Dan Webster is a PhD candidate at the school of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. His research investigates algorithmic digital adspace, highlighting and challenging its normative surveillant function in contemporary consumer society. He is a graduate of the University of Birmingham (BA Hons) and Queen’s University Belfast (MA). Dan has 10 years’ experience as a Digital Account Director and Business Director at marketing agencies including Starcom MediaVest (Publicis) and Maxus (WPP).
Michael Hanna completed a BA in Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and an MFA at the University of Ulster in 2012. He has exhibited in group exhibitions in the UK and internationally including Rencontres Internationales at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Multiplicity at NURTUREart, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Short Films about Learning at Lismore Castle Arts, Waterford, and Predictable Contact at the Naughton Gallery, Belfast. Hanna is a co-founder of AMINI, an artist led initiative for the promotion and critical discussion of artists’ moving image in Northern Ireland.
Read the transcript of the conversation between Webster and Hanna