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Sensory Apparatus II
Room two of the Sensory Apparatus exhibition at Blitz Gallery, Valletta, Malta. Conceived to reveal the mechanism of data collection, this piece is an interactive sound space whose structure and content reflect the forms and functioning of the algorithms processing and controlling our data online.
There are five units each one revealing more than the next about this process. Each unit senses when a person is nearby, which triggers a sequence of spoken text in a Siri-style voice whose content is related to both the type of data collected and how big data algorithms function. For instance, the first unit provides short, snippets of obvious and therefore less valuable information that companies can collect such as gender, date of birth and address. The second unit refers in part to local places in Valletta that apps can track people to. As the audience members move from unit to unit, the story of the algorithm becomes more complete with text about the functioning of the algorithm.
Like in the machine learning algorithms, the form of the piece means that here data is cascading through hierarchies too.
The sound penetrates the three rooms of the gallery such that the data collection is omnipresent.