We Are Data
With each gesture we make and every act we undertake, we transfer information; information that is part of our interaction with the people who are close to us and with the institutions and concepts that define our society. In the past these processes mostly occurred between one human and another, without an intermediary. Only the most important communications where recorded and archived, in contracts, treaties, paintings, or books. With technological developments in the twentieth century, the invention of the internet and the rise of big data, this situation has changed radically. We have created systems that record and archive almost everything we do, and virtual realms to mirror the physical world we live in. We’ve filled our habitats with datafied objects and more and more we have become sets of data ourselves. What we do and how we express ourselves is tracked, quantified, and coded. The datafied individual is categorized and stored in massive databases that are built and managed by companies and governments. They tell us that they want to “connect us” and provide us with better services, but they are also there to make profit and control us. We are allowing ourselves to be commodified and manipulated in systems of predictive analytics and micro-targeting, and the amount of private data we are handing over every day of our lives is unprecedented. What will happen now that the way these systems function is determined more and more by artificial intelligence and algorithms?
curated by Arjon Dunnewind