The Social Sorting Experiment

    • Steye Hallema, The Smartphone Orchestra
    • Netherlands
    • 2018
    • 20 min
    • Performance
    • World Premiere
    • DocLab Humanoid Cookbook, IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, DocLab Program

    Through online swiping and scrolling, liking and sharing, we all leave behind a digital data trail. Social media and dating apps use this raw data to decide how to “best” cater to our needs. They rank, categorize and profile us—and every new online interaction further refines our ranking compared to everyone else in the database. Although we’re increasingly aware of this process of social sorting, hardly anyone gets to see the actual overview of where they stand in this ranking. And how this ranking enables social media to manipulate us in unforeseen ways.

    The Social Sorting Experiment invites us to experience what happens under the hood of our phones. How do you rank on the index of attractive ears? Who do you most trust to leave your children with? How would you rate the cooking skills of the festivalgoer sitting next to you? Bring your phone and join in to find out!

    After W/O/R/K, performed in collaboration with Anagram at IDFA Doclab in 2017, this is The Smartphone Orchestra’s next step towards a longer show in which the audience—led by their own phones—becomes the main character.


    • 20 min
    • Spoken languages: Dutch, English
    Steye Hallema, The Smartphone Orchestra
    Marieke Nooren for Stichting WildVreemd, The Smartphone Orchestra
    Key collaborator
    Tijmen Schep
    Executive producer
    Marieke Nooren for The Smartphone Orchestra
    Hidde de Jong for The Smartphone Orchestra

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    DocLab Humanoid Cookbook
    IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
    DocLab Program

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    IDFA history

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