We may not necessarily see ourselves through our text messages, phone calls, or pictures, but the recipient can and often does. We know the majority of those we would call our friends through their WhatApp messages and social media accounts.

We embody ourselves through the structure of the virtual world.



Selected Press:

ITV News
BBC Radio
New Statesman
The Telegraph




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.

On October 26th 2015, in the project’s accompanying talk, 'Anonymity is our only right, and that is why it must be destroyed’, artist Mark Farid disclosed the login details to his entire digital life, inviting the audience of St. John’s College, Cambridge, to take, use and share his accounts as they please.







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.'

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.