Encrypted Data is an interactive installation made for Burning Man 2018 about cryptography, secret messages and treasure hunt.
It is a massive key shaped structure that is also an encryption device and a whole treasure hunt game. This beacon was a meeting point, a play area and a place for deep communication between strangers and friends.
The main purpose of the piece is to encourage private and deep, thoughtful communication between friends and strangers. Because the device's output text is encrypted, it can only be read after the burn, thanks to the dedicated website that will decypher it.
This encourage more profound thoughts to be shared : secrets, mysteries, personal views, hard truths, embarrassing compliments, declarations of love, or whatever suits to be read later, after the dust has settled...
It is meant to deepen a relationship, or to give a moment of bliss to a complete stranger that shall not be met again, just for the joy of giving.
The structure also includes dozens of hidden and locked hideouts and stashes. A treasure hunt game is hidden in all these stashes, using riddles, lockpicking and hidden keys. It will induce curious folks to open more drawers, look for hints, decypher old school secret codes to unveil new stashes and find thoughtful gems and "easter eggs". This game is designed to be played by mutiple people at once, and requires knowledge from different cultures and languages. Some steps even need to be made by two people simultaneously. This encouraged people to meet and collaborate.
Encrypted Data is a giant key inhabited by a computer with whom the spectators can converse with, and that encrypt messages and print them.
People can then gift the message to someone, who wil be able to decrypt it (and read it) only after the Burn, on a website.
Is it also made of many stashes, most of them locked, in which there are riddles, treasure hunts and codes to find. One of the quests leads to a password that acces the 'God Mode' of the key, and allows to decrypt messages anytime, and to control the lights of the structure.
The quest involes translating english from morse code, thaï, mathematical riddles, but also inside jokes about the Burning Man and its surronding culture and memes.
Some of the stashes are 'Gift Exchange' spaces, for people to leave gifts, stickers, randoms notes, or anything they want to share with the community.