The story of Zorop

Annette Mees of Coney recently travelled to sunny California to make a commission for 01SJ Biennial. We created 'Zorop' – a collaboration with the brilliant San Jose based game designer Ken Eklund.

Coney and Ken decided to focus their collaboration on something worthwhile; world peace. Zorop (2010) was on a mission to try to give World Peace a go at the 01 SJ Biennial. Zorop (quixotically, perhaps) believes that World Peace is a meme that really just suffers from a visualization problem. In our research we encountered the beautiful idea that if everyone could see the attributes and experiences they share with others, world peace would follow. If people could see the connections, and how they weave our social fabric, would disagreement and conflict fade away?

We decided a grand experiment was needed. We gathered a gentle army of performers, the Zoropathians, to introduce strangers to each other and figure out what they had in common. These connections were relayed to ZOROP Prime in South Hall, and so ZOROP grew an ever more complex visualization of the 01SJ Biennial and the affinities its visitors share. A form of social fabric of the festival emerged and was shown on a tilty table (by the briliant Onomy)

The results were lovely. About 240 connections among strangers in 12 hours over a 24-hour span… making 01 a massively connected space. As we showed off the visualisation yesterday and today, the depth of the image that it created in people's minds – of 01, an and of the diversity of people in San Jose – really resonated with the viewers coming by. The theme of the 01SJ Biennial 2010 was "Build Your Own World" and thanks to our amazing volunteer performers, Zorop did just
that: creating a whole new world of connections and capturing its essence for all to see.

More about Zorop can be found on:

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