What’s your password? I’m not asking. If I were, likeliness is I’d be looking for the back of your hand; at least. Folk are increasingly wary of online security, that Snowden chap a nagging reminder that we all could, and should, do more. But, somehow, Amsterdam-based creatives Stephen Joss and Ramin Bahari have been tootling around their city encouraging strangers to share their most personal online possession. Must be the weed.
Hidden Characters is an exploration of the personality behind online anonymity, Joss and Bahari unveiling the people and stories behind the passwords. The name of a sound-card and the date you used it in the studio; your soft spot for Brazil; a made-up word between boyfriend and girlfriend; a recollection of a youthful obsession with Japanese animation; just some of the tales that have informed the secure codes of the project’s subjects.
The ongoing project, taking the form of website and social accounts, is a thoughtful humanisation of a phenomenon that’s a piece of everyday life taken for granted. How many times have you rattled out those same few characters? How long has that same phrase been ingrained on the front of your mind? Deeply personal, what do our passwords say about who we are?