When you enter the installation,
you are confronted with a wall covered by test tubes. Closer inspection
reveals human hair in some of the tubes. Above these tubes are barcodes.
Each bar code represents a person who chose to participate in the
installation. Participants create an information-based representation
of themselves, which becomes part of the piece. This is done by filling
out an on-line questionnaire, giving fingerprints, and a DNA sample,
in the form of hair. The responses to the questionnaire and the fingerprints
are then stored in a MySQL database. The hair sample is placed in
a test tube and stored on the wall. A unique bar code is created for
each participant and then placed above the hair sample. This barcode
is used to identify each individual in the database. After this data
is collected and stored, it can be retrieved using the barcode scanner
attached to the database server at the center of the installation.
In front of the test tubes is a computer station. This station is
a Windows 2000 PC, running an Apache web server, a MySQL database
server, and PHP. This station serves as the interface for scanning
barcodes and reading about an individual. It also serves as the host
to the web documents that allow users to fill out on-line questionnaires
and add their data to Homo Indicium.