Defining Duet Pt. 1 — a platform for reflection in the digital age

Building on the launch announcement shared by Invisible Flock, our friends and collaborators, we’ll be sharing our thoughts on our new digital experience, Duet, in a series of posts over the year to come. The team would be grateful for any reactions and feedback in the comments — and don’t forget to download the app (iOS and Android) if you haven’t already!

As our international team continues the process of listening and observing patterns of anonymous responses, I wanted to answer some of the latent intrigue unleashed with the launch of Duet three weeks ago, and which has been building ever since.

As a way of beginning the series, I thought I would first recap what Duet is, and what it represents to me as one of the newer members of the team. I’d also like to offer some initial speculations on the shape it will assume over the coming year, in both India and the UK.

In subsequent editions, I’ll map equivalent thoughts from the progenitors of the Duet idea, all the way through to the newest participant.

A Duet promotional video.

What is Duet?

Without explicitly naming the three aspects to the experience — perhaps the best label to use — here’s the simplest explanation I could muster:

Duet is a digital experience which allows you the opportunity of a year-long reflective conversation with someone on the other side of the world.

And here’s how it achieves that: the App.

The Duet App — the main interface for participants to explore the experience through.
After pairing you with a partner, Duet will ask one carefully curated question a day for both to answer. Over the course of a year, you’ll reflect together and build a picture of your partner’s reality.

And here’s how to watch the experience grow at scale: the Web Platform.

The Duet Web Platform— a live data visualisation, open to all to explore the experience through.
Whilst you get to know your partner with the privileged intimacy of a letter-writer, you’ll also be able to track the scale of the experience in real-time using data visualisations in our web platform.

And here’s how to examine the shape of the experience: the Interactive Public Art.

The Duet Public Art: the various cables and LED displays that Invisible Flock are using to install our first piece of public art.
Throughout the year, @quicksandstudio and @invisibleflock will set about building a series of interactive art installations in public places (across India and the UK), to meaningfully explore and represent the content in thoughtful ways.

So, to recap:

Duet is a year-long interpersonal experience, that facilitates an anonymous conversation between strangers in India and the UK.

You can participate by downloading the App (iOS and Android), and you can observe the experience unfold at scale through our Web Platform.

Throughout the year, to uncover meaning, you can interact with the data at interactive art installations in public spaces across India and the UK.

In the next instalment, Pt 2…

So, as I hope you can see, Duet is an expression of curiosity into human nature — specifically how similar our strengths, vulnerabilities, hopes and fears really are. It’s also about developing a sense of connection with humanity at a global scale — which, I think, is a very powerful and valuable realisation indeed.

In the next instalment of this series, I’ll expand on this to share some more thoughts from across the team on how Duet came to be. I’ll explore more explicitly what the motivations for creating Duet were, and what it is that each of us hope to learn from the experience.

The latter point is something that we’re as much in the dark about as you, the participant are. Personally, I think this makes Duet even more special, and we hope you’ll continue to invest time in sharing your reflections.

Don’t forget to download the app — see below!

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