title>Source Code Source Code: Confess yourself


Confess yourself

Who says you have to be Catholic to confess?
Why leave voyeurism to the priests?
Can a website manifest redemption?

These are three questions Stewart Smith asks in the introduction to his Confess website. In this project users are invited to confess themselves. You confess not by a religious motivation but to let go of what's troubling you. But it doesn't end here. Not only you get to confess your inner most, secret thoughts, you also get to forgive someone else for their own confessed secrets. It works pretty much as a trade. You confess. Then you are allowed to read one anonymous confession. You rate it based on a few provided categories. Then you are allowed to confess again. Each confession is only ever read by one other person. The intrest arises because the site is self-governing, meaning the confessions that are selected for you are done so based on your user rating. The better your user rating, the better the confessions you read will be.

You get redemption from an automatic system, a website, and at the same time you are browsing through other people's confessions. Do you confess because you want people to read your confessions, or because you want to read people's confessions? Or both? Or because you just feel like making up some terrible stories about yourself and let people think they're true? But since the site works in an anonymous way, what's the point? People will never know who you are.

The strenght of this project lies in the way it explores the issue of anonymity. What do people say, or do, or let other people think of them when they're protected by a system that hides their true identities? This is a frequent issue when debating how people relate in online enviroments. What are they able to do or say being protected by a computer screen? In this case, that experience is taken one step further since it deals directly with the notion of guilt. You only confess when you feel guilty, but by confessing to a machine do you feel even more liberated or by the contrary, simply careless?

Go on, try it. Confess yourself. Make the artist's day.

Stewart Smith
2004 - present


Blogger Admin said...

Wow, what a great site. I will bookmark this site and return often. It's nice to see sites like this.

Please visit my website and let me know what you think. Secret Confession

7/10/05 15:55  

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