A CAPTCHA is a type of test used to determine whether or not the user is human. Jason Polakis, a professor who creates CAPTCHAs, says. “You need…a challenge that works with someone from Greece, someone from Chicago, someone from South Africa, Iran, and Australia at the same time. It has to be independent from cultural intricacies and differences."
CAPTCHAs include images that humans across the world, irrespective of class, creed, and nationality, can identify. Common questions may include “Select all images with sandwiches,” or “Select all images with flowers.”
In revealing the psychology behind how CAPTCHAs are created, I am inviting the viewer to consider through a presentation of photographic images the myriad of things humanity has in common.
Although the fabric of human experience has been ruptured in unexpected ways by this pandemic, technology is showing us we’re in this together. Zoom calls with grandma, Whatsapp messages with far-flung family members, Instagram videos showing how we #QuarantineandCreate; although we are socially isolated, we are simultaneously united in pain and joy.
This playful take on the ubiquitous CAPTCHA reveals, through the language of the internet, as well as through a presentation of personal and found images, how we are one huge, quivering mass of humanity. And in the words of Sherry Turkle: “we are alone, together.”