The Racismomaton is an autonomous computarized cabin that, by means of a computer game, allows passersby to take a test that will unveil his/her implicit attitudes towards foreigners. Attitudes that usually are found under discriminatory behaviours.
Four elements have inspired the design of the installation:
1. Apart from consciously racist people, there are people having racist behaviours without being conscious of it. The hope is that a portion of these “unconscious racists” would change their attitudes after a rational thinking process. Racismomaton intends to be a catalyst for these people to think more deeply about the issue.
2. The process should happen in an strictly private space (hence the photo booth-like design with curtain.)
3. The machine should be autonomous: the installation runs on the street and batteries are charged by photovoltaic cells. Besides, the system regularly sends short messages to state it is working OK.
4. An Implicit Association Test (IAT + PDF) has been developed by psychologists at Washington and Princeton universities. IAT tests unconscious bias that indicate the existence of stereotypes and prejudices that are the basis of racist behaviour. The mechanism is very simple and the test can be completed in less than five minutes.
The Racismomaton has already been installed in several Spanish cities for a few days. I’m afraid other countries need a Racismomaton experience.