This installation was the outcome of the Talking About Social Identity Project.

Video 1: Installation Footage | 15/06/2013

Video 2: Installation Footage | 16/06/2013

This project rested on the idea that we can be categorised according to fields of social identity such as race, class, sexuality and gender, based on a complex interplay of genetic, economic, social and cultural factors. Further, that on one hand, people's assignment of these categories to themselves or others are not uniform, and as they are constantly being produced, are therefore fluid and changeable – and on the other, that our behaviour tends to mould to the categories we are assigned. These ideas owed a lot to the writing of pragmatist George Herbert Meade who was one of the first to posit the self as social, when he wrote: 'The self arises in conduct, when the individual becomes a social object in experience to himself.'

The crux of this installation is the difference between the way in which a computer and a person, if restricted to speaking from a limited set of words related to social identity, could utter sentences. A computer could utter an exhaustive list of grammatically permissible sentences, whereas a person, having learned their place in society, may only utter those they have learned that society will allow them to say. For this reason, it was hypothesised that the installation would produce new – previously unheard-of – patterns of categorisation and configurations of prejudice; these would mostly be nonsensical, some amusing, and perhaps a few significant. In addition, as the audience tended to think themselves addressed by the installation, their emergent behaviour in relation to their own perceptions of social identity formed an integral part of the piece.