Everything and nothing, 2016

Inkjet print on folded paper

The most Googled question in 2015 was, ‘What is zero divided by zero?’

While some users may actually have wanted to know the answer, most appear to have asked the question to read stories about Apple’s ‘intelligent assistant’, Siri, who has a humorous response.

I find this fascinating on many levels – the fact that the most Googled question was not necessarily asked in search of the answer; the fact that although the answer is technically zero, Google provides 215 million search results in response to the question; and the amount of search results which were links to posts by users who believed they were the first person to ask Siri the question when, had they Googled first, they would have realised it was already a hugely trending topic.

The strengths and weaknesses of Google searches are captured in this work, which includes a print out of approximately 1000 search results – most of which do not answer the question.

The structure of this book is not traditional. Rather than the typical, bound codex form, it is a modified accordion book – conceivably a more contemporary book form in a time when, as a society, we constantly trawl the internet looking for that which is new and different. The information contained in the book is compressed through folding, perhaps causing the viewer to realise there is more data here than first meets the eye. We never truly encounter the vast quantities of data available to us when surfing the internet, only seeing the pages we choose to visit. In Everything and nothing, we are confronted with many, many pages of internet data in one seemingly endless physical page.

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