“Separate Threads” explores the multiplicity and hybridity of online identities. On the Internet, it is possible for one person to cultivate many identities, which may or may not be connected to each other, and which may have different degrees of anonymity. We envision a hypothetical person, with two separate cyber identities–a golfer and a chemtrail conspiracy believer–that have accidentally come together in cyberspace.

To produce the textual elements of this piece, we scraped text posts from specific forums and ran them through a Markov chain algorithm to generate text that borrows from the words of users on the forum, simulating an average–yet somewhat garbled–post. This allows us to abstract away from any individual poster's identity and to create an algorithmic, ephemeral representation of our character's online identity. Each sequence embroidered on the garments was created by the Markov chain produced using the corpus that relates to the garment’s theme. A longer version of this Markov chain is projected on one wall, while our Markov chain code is projected on the other.

Embroidered and digitally printed
textile created for this project.