Circling back to Seven on Seven from my previous post, this is an interesting experiment which pairs artists and technologists for a day to come up with something new that marries their respective disciplines. My favorite artist-technologist pair at this year’s Seven on Seven, Aaron Swartz and Taryn Simon, tackled the challenge of exposing the lack of neutrality on the internet when it comes to visual images in popularly distributed digital material. They did this to highlight the cultural complexities of forming a visual language (they recognize that more people ‘talk’ in a visual language these days). The pair shared the image results of internet searches on certain universal topics across different countries around the world. The results were entertainingly diverse. Some terms as an example: painting, freedom, war, liar, crazy, sadness, beauty. When the word ‘Freedom’ (translated into local language) is searched, the results are so different in Brazil and Syria. In Syria, the word freedom would pull up images of meetings. ‘Celebrity’ in Syria would bring up the Mona Lisa, in the U.S., it would bring up Paris Hilton. Their conclusion - images (visual expressions) are indexed quite differently in various cultures due to value judgements that run deeper than the neutral filters many search engines claim to have. Outside of my interest in cultural diversity, this appealed a great deal to the researcher in me. Not your typical technology project but would speak to those who enjoy looking at a subject from multi-disciplinary angles.