Originally feeling quite apprehensive about visiting the Big Bang Data exhibition, I soon found myself engrossed and almost hypnotised by the amount of information being fed to me.
The installation that resonated with, and visually struck me the most was a series of three images presented above three quite violent looking object in a display cabinet. The three images showed three different people wearing these objects on their faces. These ‘Face Cages’ were created by the artist Zach Blas and are based on how surveillance devices gather biometric information. This method of gathering data is used my most facial recognition devices and instantly reminded me of the smartphone application I regularly use, ‘Snapchat’ which uses the same method.
The objects are quite complex in their design and almost reminded me of something from a spy thriller, essentially being a way of hiding ones identity and becoming invisible to surveillance. The objects appear as a modernised version of early 9th century Viking helmets and masks. They instantly connote a feeling of battle and protection, a sort of armour to combat the attack of the digital age.
Another concept that I discovered and that really caught my attention was a prototype of a possible future product that will allow people to purchase and have a physical copy of their privacy rights for their devices. For example, a workout accessory that is worn that collects data such as your heart rate, where and how fast you have run and amount of calories burnt etc. the product will allow people to select how much (if any) data they wish to share and have recorded and used by corporations. With this becoming a very important issue, as current websites and organisations use and record data constantly from almost all of our connected devices without our permission, this is a very plausible solution to a problem that is likely to arise in the near future.
Overall the exhibition was very eye-opening and drew attention to many issues that I was aware existed but not to what extent. Although a couple of the installations were slightly bias they highlighted some very important issues that are very rarely spoken about and should be made open knowledge.