Syncro Mail - Unconscious Collective

By Lisa Jevbratt, 2001

~ Project ( Feb 2003-> The mail sending is currently not working.)

Syncro Mail is a Web based email service that allows a user to send an email consisting of an image and a word randomly selected from the Internet to someone of choice. The sender does not see the image or the word, and have no influence over their selection.   Does the picture become meaningful to the receiver because he/she knows who sent it? What story does the image tell us?   Syncro Mail — Unconscious Collective provides a mapping of all the emails sent since the software was lanched in October 2000.
  Now the questions to ask are if and how we, the receivers, are connected, not only to the person sending the picture but also, to each other. Are we joined because we all are influenced by a picture selected by Syncro Mail within a specific time period? Are the pictures telling us a collective story? A story about the collective?
Software is not linear. The Web is not linear. PhotoShop is telling us something; plots emerge as we traverse the Web. Thus we do recognize stories in the non-linear. These new plots are not horizontal. They don’t come to us through the syntagm, through correct grammar, an adjective following a verb following the noun. No, they occur in paradigmatic relationships. Between an occurrence of a chair and all other chairs, between the verb and all other verbs, in the relationship between an image and all other images. They are vertical. The meaning of these stories don’t rely on cause and effect. Does such logic, the database logic, harbor the magical? In any case, the meaning in these stories is not causal, it is acausal, it is synchronistic.

The mapping of the emails is presented on a time-line with a scaled version functioning as a navigation bar. Each image is framed by a color representing the receiver and the color of the associated word represents the sender. The mapping is updated once a day, adding the emails sent that day. To send an email, use the form on the left.

The colors used to represent the sender and the reciever are created by using the last three octets of the ip addresses of the sender and reciever computers.

The red frame on both the mappings indicate where you last clicked on the small mapp.

The border and the outside square are colored by the recievers IP address.

The word and the inside square are colored by the senders IP address.

Someone sent this picture to themselves, the sender and the reciever colors are the same.

The lines, and the dates on the large map, indicates within which week the message was sent.

Commisioned by The Korea Web Art Festival (Dec 2001-Jan 2002)