User 927

Got a very cool email over the weekend from Katharine Clark Gray, the producer of a play in Philadelphia: I'm writing because you unknowingly had a profound influence on me as I completed my recent play, USER 927, commissioned by Philadelphia's Brat Productions [www.bratproductions.org]. When AOL released the search…

927

Got a very cool email over the weekend from Katharine Clark Gray, the producer of a play in Philadelphia:

I’m writing because you unknowingly had a profound influence on me as I completed my recent play, USER 927, commissioned by Philadelphia’s Brat Productions [www.bratproductions.org]. When AOL released the search log data of 658,000 of its users back in August 06, a director friend of mine approached me with an idea: why not write a work for stage based on one infamous product of the AOL debacle, the user known only as User 927 [http://consumerist.com/consumer/notag/aol-user-927-illuminated-192502.php]? An unabridged 3-month record of his search engine queries produce a penchant for kiddie porn and hentai unnervingly interspersed with searches for flowers, song lyrics and Elmo.

Taking this true story and extrapolating for stage, my director-partner and I set out to construct fiction from one central fact: a real person’s unique search log, their digital fingerprint, their- ahem- Database of Intentions. What came out instead was a noir cyberthriller framed by a larger existential consideration of the nature of search.

More on the play here. My coverage of AOL’s data leak here and here.

2 thoughts on “User 927”

  1. Wow…that guy is quite a sicko. I feel sorry for his mangey dog, but I’m pretty excited that he’s apparently got some fungus on him. I found this http://www.decenttools.com/ the other day and if provides a couple interesting angles on that data.

  2. A toast for humanity and its unique ability to produce a complicated concept called art.

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