Gabriella Torres-Ferrer, Cajole
from the series Isn’t the World Just a Great Big Pyramid Scheme
Electroluminescent panel, electric cord and plug
40,64 x 6,65 cm
Not only do clouds store valuable data, they also mediate data production, exchange and commodification. The ongoing work series Isn't the World Just a Great Big Pyramid Scheme addresses the decentralised and unregulated value chains surrounding data in the digital space. Personal data, often extracted without the knowledge or consent of its owners, represents a powerful tool. For example, it is able to supply individualized information packages and mirror them back to targeted audiences in the form of advertising. Gabriella Torres-Ferrer’s series examines the semiotics that shape the (near-ubiquitous) digital neighborhood. Spanning from targeted ads, to immersive videos, to poetry, the interconnected works play with the aesthetics of targeted advertising and use graphics that challenge both the Internet's false empathy and the illusion of privacy. Their commercial détournement ironically celebrates the low style of global capital while addressing a time in which peoples’ behavioral data points may have become more valuable than their actual lives. Surrounded by the misty layers of the cloud, Gabriella Torres-Ferrer sensually makes tangible the ways in which surveillance companies such as Google and Facebook – under the pretext of ethics, accountability and free choice architectures – repurpose bodies in order to profit from them.