Gabriella Torres-Ferrer, PersonalDataMine 003
from the series Mine Your Own Business
Credit card, microcontroller display with Facebook targeted ad preferences, electric cords and plugs
8,5 x 9,5 x 5 cm
This type of systematic ‘digital dispossession’ (Shoshana Zuboff) is the topic of the series Mine Your Own Business. The series consists of flat panel light boxes and a series of found objects with microcomputers. They display and mine information related to personal and behavioral data, targeted advertisement, or virtual currencies. Using this data, companies have gained significant social and political influence thus endangering the project of liberalism and our individual sovereignty. At the same time, the work is an ironic comment on the speculative wave of cryptocurrency businesses that were established in the tax haven Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The hurricane destroyed 80% of Puerto Rico's power grids and paralysed life for several weeks. Incoming support from America was very slow. Considering the vast amounts of energy and computational power required to mine crypto-currencies, the appearance of these companies in a post-hurricane Puerto Rico was more than questionable. Gabriella Torres-Ferrer’s low-fi mining station uses the minimum energy and computational power scattered in found objects, as opposed to state-of-the-art equipment. By employing this method, they aim to draw attention to the unethical motivation of companies exploiting the crisis in Puerto Rico for tax benefits.