Data Delinquents (2017)
“Data Delinquents” visualizes how Facebook’s data collection, and the way its algorithms analyze our data, might be used for disciplinary purposes. Inmates are entered into the database not just by their age, birth, gender, and fingerprints- but also their political and religious orientation, as well as predictions about their personality, behavior, and the concerns and concepts most relevant to them. This project asks viewers to think about how compatible these algorithmic categories are in relation to the ways in which we see, identify, and interact with each other on social networks, and in our actual worlds as increasingly shaped by these digital realms.
Recalling the Panopticon- that circular prison with cells arranged around a central and mirrored tower, from which prisoners could at all times be observed, observe themselves, and observe each other- Data Delinquents illustrates how we are looking out from the cells of a Panopticon of our own making, becoming evermore intelligent and fortified by our machines. Here, the cells are structured by our data that is constantly being collected and codified, rather than physical walls.
How containable are we by these processes, or are there parts of us that remain unquantifiable? What sort of entity could break these algorithms, and remain uncategorizable?