Anna Maria Michael
Promise is a programming command used for synchronising program execution in some concurrent programming languages, such as C++ and Java. Promise creates a virtual space that acts as a proxy for a result that is initially unknown, usually because the computation of its value remains unfulfilled.
Likewise, the promises, made by the tech utopianism of the early 1990s, for a democratised cyberspace, where gender and race are not means for discrimination, also remain unfulfilled. Social media platforms use ‘community’ as a concept that is built on connection and inclusivity. However, community has instead become a branding tool.
By borrowing strategies from social media platforms, we can unveil how the illusion of community is reproduced. Typically, this concept of community is fostered in the design and terms and conditions of an online space – which is worshipped for its supposed powers of connection.
Promise Pending is a project that creates a spatial configuration based on my thesis ‘The Illusion of Community’. The project questions the possibilities for imagining a concept that interrupts normative accounts of community. It also calls on us to recuperate community not as a passive idea – one that social media has already constituted – but as an active one.