The Crossman Gallery in the Center of the Arts helped shed some light on a concern in our society today with the help of students and faculty at UW-Whitewater, the exhibit “We Give our Consent” gave an eye-opening experience into online social media.

Sydney Myers who is a sophomore at UW-Whitewater currently majoring in media arts and game development had the pleasure of being a part of this exhibit. “I have been working with our professors and helping them with the smaller tasks to add towards the overall project,” Myers said.

The exhibit was set to project an eye-opening view as to what terms and conditions really mean when signing up for a social media site, “We’re hoping that the viewers may be more cautious with their privacy online in the future,” Myers said. There is so much loss of privacy and consent when logging onto social media.

When first walking into the exhibit, there is a wall were “terms and conditions” is printed letting attendees see what they are accepting when logging onto social media. While exhibit-goers could read these terms and conditions, there were also a lot of other interactive features to this exhibit.

Unlike any other exhibit before, this exhibit has participatory features built in, one interactive feature was “use your voice to play”, were those who participated had to select an avatar with their voice. To move the arrow up and down the object was to sing or speak in low or high pitches. This was a way to show that when giving consent to the “terms and conditions” page, it is allowing for re-use of images and voice.

The Crossman Gallery used Facebook to show the reception of the exhibit and its interactive features.

Michael Flanagan who has been working at UW-Whitewater for over 20 years as the Crossman Gallery directors said that he recalled the developmental process of this exhibit where they showed him a game they had created “with the user trying to get mail packets across the screen without being gobbled up,” he said. This game is an exact reference to how the internet and social media can capture someone’s information.

The “We Give our Consent” exhibit had a lot of potentials to show visitors what the real conditions of logging on to social media can do and how it can affect someone’s life. By the click of a button, social media users agree to have their images re-used, their name constantly on the web, and many other factors that come along with consenting. There is no secret that social media has a way of constantly keeping up with users.

The display showed a wall of masks with the word “anonymize”, which means to remove identity from something or someone, while the computer showed a blurred image of the wall.

Visit the Crossman Gallery Blog to see when other exhibits are going on throughout the school year.