The lucky people who were able to attend this year’s TED conference in Vancouver, which started March 17 and ends today, got to experience a mind-bending installation that helped them find their social soulmate. Experiential marketing agency MKG collaborated with artists Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald to create Social Soul, an immersive digital experience that all started with the question, “How does it feel to be inside someone else’s social media stream?”
Sponsored by Delta Air Lines, the space consists of 50 monitors on the ceiling, mirrored walls and a reflective floor. In coming up with the design, MKG took inspiration from Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, the popular installation that drew an unprecedented number of New Yorkers to David Zwirner gallery to experience the closest they’d probably ever come to stepping into space.
When a visitor enters Social Soul, their Twitter stream is displayed on a 360-degree stream of monitors and mirrors. Starting with their stream, it then uses a custom algorithm to match participants with other TED attendees and speakers, displaying their social stream. As they exit, users and their connected “soulmate” receive a tweet encouraging an offline connection.
When we asked David Brown, Digital Creative Director at MKG, what the reaction was like to this installation, he said, “It’s been so incredible to watch people experience the Social Soul. They are really diggin’ it but best of all people are really connecting and conversations are starting because of it. I had one woman tell me that Social Soul connected her to is someone she had breakfast with that morning.”