Data Elephant

Perera ( Jamie Perera )
Creative Works  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
JPML, Portugal 
[ private ] 
19 days 
Data Elephant was commissioned by Tactical Tech in partnership with Mozilla for The Glass Room London Exhibition 2017.

The Glass Room was a pop-up exhibition that turned issues around data and privacy into sensory and tangible experiences. In 19 days, The Glass Room welcomed nearly 19,000 visitors through its doors in Leicester Square, hosting events, workshops and original works of art. The event was widely reported in the UK and global media, including Channel 4 news, Radio 4 and Sky News.

'Data Elephant' was the soundscape to the entire Glass Room London exhibition. Over 19 days, it provided an evolving and confrontational sonic commentary on data, permission and exploitation. A soundscape creates a texture of corporate invitation, eventually subverting its own brand of wholesomeness. A small visible disclaimer in the Glass Room Exhibition allows the artist to record excerpts of visitors’ intimate conversations and adds them to the sonic texture of the room. By physically being in the space, the visitor has ‘given’ their permission, with no control over how or to what degree their data is being used. In this sound piece, disingenuous data collection disrupts the soundscape’s invitation and serenity, gradually becoming more insistent over the course of the exhibition as 'the elephant in the room' i.e. the ignored issue that will not go away, and will only get bigger over time. As the visitors’ awareness is drawn to their lack of consent, it mirrors issues around privacy and fair use of data in the public realm. 
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