gの天秤 | the balance scale of g : gram, google, god

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This networked installation artwork named “the balance scale of g” is created by Yuji Nakada. The key idea of this work is that the measurement of a person is comparative, tentative and volatile.

In this work, the balance scale is used as the metaphor for the measure of human beings. LCDs hung on the both sides of the balance scale display specific words randomly chosen from eight different languages as well as the number of Google search result at this very moment. Comparing two numbers, the balance scale physically visualizes which word is weightier. Every words on the LCDs are abilities, skills or characteristics related to the assessment measure of human beings.

Both time and place create a big difference in the way of evaluating a person. For example, a shaman queen was a governing ruler in ancient Japan. Around that time an intensive agriculture has started. Bad crop made people die from starvation, so that the ability of weather prediction was more important than anything else. People of the time believed sharman could hear the voice of God. That is why she could reign over the people.
This system is considerably different from that of present. Today, the measure of evaluating a person is getting much more diversified into various kinds. The number of Google search result not only reflects the presence on the web, but also can be the meta scale that create a new hierarchy across various kind of concepts on a moment-to-moment basis.  In addition, the distinction between the online world and the real world is getting meaningless in these latter days, because the online world is penetrating deeply into today’s society. In fact, it is able to say that we can hear the voice of God through the Google search result instead of sharman in ancient.





時代と場所によって人間の優劣を決定する尺度はさまざまです。たとえば、弥生時代の邪馬台国では、農耕文化への移行に伴い、国家の存亡を決めるのは天気予報でした。その結果、神の声を聞くことができる司祭者が国家の頂点に君臨するようになったといいます。今日、人間の優劣を決定する評価尺度は、容姿、運動神経、TOEICスコアなど、ますます多様化しています。検索ヒット数はウェブの世界でのプレゼンスを示す指標ですが、無数の異なる価値観を横断して一意に序列するメタな尺度であるともいえるでしょう。さらに、ウェブメディアの社会への浸透に伴って、 実世界とウェブの世界との区別は無意味になりつつあるとも指摘されています。そのような状況に鑑みると、瞬時に、しかも定量的に答えを出してくれるGoogleこそ、現代の神の声にほかなりません。