A Map of Everywhere You Go Outside - Mining Personal Data
Through the artistic work of plan b, who collect every journey they make outside with GPS, issues increasingly affecting us all such as the amount of data we generate and how one might manage this as well as issues of memory, privacy, surveillance, the uses and abuses of technology are illustrated in light of their collaboration with the technologists Argeo and avp::ptr.
The Berlin-based artist-duo plan b are Daniel Belasco Rogers and Sophia New. Since 2003 (Daniel) and 2007 (Sophia), they have turned on a GPS every time they go outside, whether that journey is across a continent or to their daughter's school. For Daniel, the initial impulse was to see the Drawing of My Life. For Sophia it was to trace the changes that having a small child was making to her mobility and movement patterns.
Today, the couple have not only collected a very large amount of data about themselves (they also collect every SMS text message they send each other), they have been able to reflect about the impacts of such a data collection has had and continues to have on their lives. A constant record of where one was for the last decade can act as a memory prosthesis, for example, allowing them to answer questions such as `where was I on this day five years ago?'. In this way, their outside movements become the prompt for the inward process of remembering
For their artistic practice, which encompasses fine art exhibitions, performances in theatres and other spaces, participatory work with communities all over Europe and locative media installations, they have developed long-term collaborations with the technologists avp::ptr (Peter Vasil, Rajko Amberg and Tobias Preuß) and Argeo (Mathieu Baudier and Bruno Sinou). These collaborations have not only resulted in support to manage and visualise their GPS and text message records, but also provided a valuable discourse and critical feedback about the politics of data ownership, licencing, free and open source software (to which all parties are committed) and the impact of ubiquitous computing in our lives. Can these external processes of data gathering effect and reflect our inner thought processes and memories, changing how we behave?