Give It Away
Art is at its best when it wakes us up to the reality that surrounds us that we haven’t noticed yet. Or, perhaps noticed on a subconscious level, but weren’t able to take a step back and observe critically.
Gizmodo has a post about a new art installation which shows how easily we give away personal information online.
You give them an image, your email address, and fingerprint, and in exchange, you get a cute card. Holding the cute card you realize how flimsy it is next to what you’ve just parted with, but isn’t that the way it goes on so many sites? You give them access to your Facebook account and all that entails in exchange for access to a mindless quiz. Or you give them an image of yourself in order to see how you’d look as a cartoon character.
The artist describes the information collection as a playful process, and isn’t that the way it usually goes? No one would fill out a form if the data collectors said, “just give us all this information and we’ll bombard you with ads.” Instead we think we’re just taking a mindless quiz, when we’re really handing over hundreds of data points.
It’s a thought-provoking exhibit. It made me look long and hard at the ways I gave away information this week without really being cognizant of the fact that the bit of fun was in exchange for facts about me.