BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES: THE PRIVACY PARADOX is a group show curated by Helena Acosta and Miyö Van Stenis featuring work by Jennifer Lyn Morone, Heather Dewey Hagborg, LaTurbo Avedon, Annie Rose Malamet and Carla Gannis. The exhibited work will live on a wireless network accessible through five routers at the gallery space. The routers have been hacked and are not actually connected to the Internet. Each router has a private network, which visitors must log in to through their own devices – cell phones or iPads – to view the artwork. BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES: THE PRIVACY PARADOX explores the dichotomy between the private and the public, creating a platform for distribution of data on an independent and anonymous network.
In the era of algorithm prediction all our online actions have a digital trace, which are used by companies and governments to predict our behaviors. The Internet’s purpose is to collect and quantify each action – becoming a medium for surveillance.
Everyday online social practices could look like harmless actions through a naive eye, but they contain the potential for unexpected consequences when they are traced and connected to algorithmic surveillance systems. In less than five years facial recognition algorithms will be ubiquitous. For example, Facebook has recently added facial recognition technology to their platform, becoming more deeply integrated into our smartphones. These new applications will facilitate easy reconstruction of any random encounter we have on the street that has been captured by a camera.
And even though our increased communication practices on the Social Web result in an increase of personal information online, the ‘Privacy Paradox’* suggests that despite Internet users’ apprehension about privacy, their behaviors do not reflect those concerns. Although we keep insisting on how much we care about our data, the statement ‘privacy is important!’ has become a void belief in our contemporary society.
As part of the programming activities for the exhibition, Helena Acosta will host a panel discussion at Creative Tech Week on May 4th, Post Privacy: Is privacy becoming a thing of the past?.