Real Time Commission 2015 

Data Shadow by Mark Farid - 26 October to 01 November 2015

Did you see your data shadow? #DataShadow

Artist Mark Farid's Data Shadow installation aims to encourage the public to question the privacy they sacrifice by using an internet connected mobile phone. Just what are you agreeing to share? Data Shadow was an individual experience (one participant at a time), taking place in a 8 x 2m shipping container in central Cambridge. During their journey through the container, the participant came face to face with their own, personal data shadow. The installation was presented in Cambridge from 26 October - 1 November 2015. View our film and the Anglia TV coverage

Commissioned by Collusion in partnership with The Technology Partnership, the University of Cambridge and Arts Council England.

Photocredit: Amelie Deblauwe, Rachel Drury & Simon Poulter

Data Shadow: The Film #DataShadow

Data Shadow aims to encourage the public to question the privacy they sacrifice by using an internet connected mobile phone using apps, cloud storage services, and social media. Just what are you agreeing to share?

Commissioned by Collusion in partnership with The Technology Partnership, the University of Cambridge and Arts Council England.

What's Data Shadow about? #DataShadow

Artist Mark Farid's Data Shadow installation aimed to encourage the public to question the privacy they sacrifice by using an internet connected mobile phone using apps, cloud storage services, and social media. Just what are you agreeing to share? Commissioned by Collusion in partnership with The Technology Partnership, the University of Cambridge and Arts Council England.

Despite an increasing understanding by the average citizen of the currency of personal information shared with companies such as Apple and Google, with apps, and on social media, our use of them increases daily. And as our data shadow continues to grow and evolve, what happens when people are individually confronted by seemingly random personal and private information of theirs?

Whether we are aware of it or not, we treat our phones as we would treat a human. We set the background to personal images, we customise their cases to our liking*, we have conversations with them through programmes like Siri, and the answer to every passing quandary is found on our phones. We use them for work and for socialising; unlike a personal computer it never leaves our side. It is a link to family, friends, and foes, and they’ve become an extension of ourselves. 

Our mobile phones go with us everywhere, and when they aren't within arm’s reach, we’re lost until we find them*. We can search for people on the Internet and learn a lot about them very easily; through Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook we can quickly ascertain many elements of a person’s character, and our phones are no different. 

We are aware, to varying degrees, that our information is not private. The amount of information, and how intrusive this information is raises questions over the level of security over our data and becomes a pressing matter as we enter an age where the digital is starting to supersede the physical, and further cries from the government to increase surveillance continue. Data flows all around us from our phones all the time, each phone sending out on average 350,000 messages a day*. 

Do you still have nothing to hide when you're faced with your own personal information? 

* Credit: Informed by Geoff White's research as part of Channel 4 News' Data Baby project. 

 

Mark Farid was awarded Collusion's Real Time Commission in June 2015 following an international open call for submissions. 

23 year old artist Mark Farid hit the headlines in November 2014 when he announced that he planned to spend 28 days in virtual reality, immersing himself in someone else's life, even eating the food they ate.

Mark Farid is a multimedia conceptual artist, who through an interrogative practise, examines the ethics of performing in social situations to help understand the administrated identity of the individual, in relationship to the institutions and systems.

Currently using technology to dissect these systems, Farid aims to help understand the power structures that bind together the collective of individuals, which act as the cogs in these formations. In doing so, Farid subverts the nature of this relationship in the hope of deconstructing the administering rules of function, with the aim of emancipating the participant and audience from these very power structures.

Farid graduated from Kingston University, London with a First Class degree in Fine Art, 2014, and has since participated in group and solo exhibitions in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi.

You can find out more about Mark and his work at meta-narrative.co.uk

 

Lots of people took to Twitter to share news, thoughts and pictures of #datashadow - read all about it here. 

Collusion's Real Time Commission 2015

You can read the original brief for the Real Time Commission here

Real Time Commission is an opportunity to make a new public realm digital work for Cambridge, working within the Greater Cambridge area and its data. The commission was open to artists from all disciplines, as well as collectives of creatives assembled around cross-disciplinary making. This includes artists, artist collectives and designers. 

The deadline for proposals was 27 April 2015. Three short listed artists were invited to take part in a two day lab (5-6 May) where they found out more about Cambridge and  got to meet the kinds of people they could work with at the University and TTP. Following the lab, the artists submitted updated proposal before the final selection was made at the end of May. 

Proposals were not limited to any one form or outcome but we identified that we are interested in the following:

  • Art that connects with Cambridge as a world centre of technological growth
  • Works that delight and surprise with their boldness
  • Works that are informed by direct public interaction
  • Works that directly engage the public in thinking about data
  • Art that interrogates the rhetoric or language of ‘internet of things’
  • Works that have a physical presence as well as a digital outcome
  • Art that harvests real time data from multiple sources

The commission provides an opportunity to test Cambridge's potential as an R&D centre for arts and technology projects that go on to be seen around the world, and we see its citizens as playing a vital role. Throughout the course of the project we anticipate a range of engagement opportunities with the public. 

For updates, sign up to @in_collusion

Collusion worked with The Technology Partnership plc and the University of Cambridge on the development of the Collusion's Real Time Commission 2015. The project was revealed at the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2015. We are also tremendously grateful for the support of Cambridge Junction throughout the project's development period and to Creative Warehouse who worked with us to attract regional and national media coverage.  

We are delighted to be receiving financial support for this project from