To coincide with the first draft of the Investigatory Powers Bill (Nov 2015), Data Shadow was an interactive art installation aiming to encourage the public to question the privacy they sacrifice when using an internet connected mobile phone by taking individuals personal text messages and picture.

In the project’s accompanying talk, artist Mark Farid shared the login details to his digital life, inviting the audience of St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, to take, use and share his accounts as they please, whilst Mark attempted to live without a digital footprint for 6 months.


Selected Press:

ITV News
BBC Radio
New Statesman
The Telegraph

TEDxWarwick





Data Shadow by Mark Farid
26th October - 31st October 2015 (All Saints Gardens, Cambridge)
1st – 3rd November 2015 (Cambridge Junction, Cambridge)
Average 2-3 minutes per person
Public Artwork

Data Shadow was an interactive art instillation commissioned by Collusion, in partnership with Arts Council England, the University of Cambridge and The Technology Partnership. Located in All Saints Gardens, Cambridge, all visitors were required to interact independently with the installation, entering one at a time.

On entering the 8 x 2m shipping container, the participant was greeted by a woman holding a contract of consent. Until signed, the woman remained silent, directly staring the individual in the eyes (a physical manifestation of Terms & Conditions). Once signed, candidates proceeded to join the WiFi.

Participants progressed to the second half of the container, divided by a partitioning door. With sensors tracking the participant’s movements, their realtime (digital) shadow was cast by a projection on two, facing walls - one filled with 1000 characters from their most recent text or WhatsApp messages, the other a collage of 64 images from the participant’s mobile phone.

On opening the exit door of the shipping container, all information Data Shadow had on the individual was automatically deleted, ready for the next participant to proceed.







26th October 2015
St. John's College, University of Cambridge
19:00 - 20:30

'Anonymity is our only right, and that is why it must be destroyed.'

A panel (and audience) discussion about data privacy, centring around the individual. Culminating the talk, artist Mark Farid shared the login details to his digital life, which included, but not limited to his Facebook account details, Apple ID, and his online banking details. Inviting the audience of St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, to take, use and share his accounts as they please, Mark attempted to live without a digital footprint for 6 months. You can read about Mark's experience here.


Mark Farid, Artist
Richard Ellis, Technologist
Geoff White, Journalist at Channel 4 News
Daniel Thomas, researcher at University of Cambridge

Chaired by Simon Poulter and Rachel Drury, Collusion
Commissioned by in partnership with Arts Council England, the University of Cambridge and The Technology Partnership.





Artist – Mark Farid

Graphic Design – Kia Tasbihgou

Back-end Development – Richard Ellis

Tracking Development – Jamie Gledhill

Co-Produced – Simon Poulter and Rachel Drury

Commissioned by Collusion in partnership with Arts Council England, the University of Cambridge and The Technology Partnership.