Eau bouillante à décongeler


Boiling water to defrost, freedom index

“Ah, my “boiling water to defrost”! Created with the aim of simplifying people’s lives, this invention also serves as an indicator of freedom, based on the results of a Google search. I designed a product, “boiling water to defrost”, that everyone can buy. Every year, I note the position of this product in the Google search results. In 2012, to the query “boiling water to defrost”, my product appeared in first position (being the only one to market boiling water to defrost). However, year after year, Google removes this result to offer you firstly “how to defrost a pizza”. This indicates that Google wants to direct you where you are likely to bring in the most money and towards what everyone is looking for. Arsen Eca

In a project reminiscent of The Economist’s Big Mac index, artist Eca proposed monitoring what he called “the freedom index” using a Google search query. For this project, he designed and marketed a product as confusing as “defrosting water”, something that defies common sense and the laws of physics.
The idea was that by searching for this particular product, we could assess our level of freedom based on the search results – essentially, using Google’s algorithmic logic as a barometer of our individual and collective freedom.
In 2012, “defrost water” surprisingly appeared at the top of search results. However, as Google’s algorithms evolved and presumably refined their understanding of logical constraints, “defrost water” gradually disappeared from search results. This suggested that the algorithm was increasingly guiding and restricting our choices, reflecting a perceived decline in our freedom of thought.
Through this project, Eca critiques the power of algorithms to dictate our access to information, our choices and, ultimately, our perceptions of reality. It suggests that our freedom is being quietly eroded by the very tools we rely on to access information. Eca’s work serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of critical thinking and the need to question the systems we use every day.

Arsen ECA