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Technology28 January 2019

“The Search For Submission”: controversially about online privacy

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Personal data is, with the deference and money we spend on services or advertised products, our largest asset, which is constantly sought by the world’s largest technological corporations. When this process is presented in the form of an atypical visual comparison, the awareness of its existence and the consequences related to it can hurt twice. This is how the surprising clash was presented by Annemiek Höcker on her exhibition entitled “The Search For Submission” as part of the courageous project Manifestation (presented the work of dozens of artists contesting the current world order), which I had the opportunity to visit during the last edition of the Dutch Design Festival in Eindhoven. To fully reflect the author’s thoughts and intentions, I attach below a description of the exhibition, which can be treated as a kind of manifesto or a reference to the users’ common sense. Or maybe it’s just a statement of a fact known to all?

Every BODY that uses Google becomes SUBMISSIVE when it decides to AGREE to the user terms & conditions.
Every BODY that uses Google becomes EXHIBITIONISTIC when it decides to ALLOW the privacy policy.
Every BODY that uses Google becomes BLIND when it decides to TRUST their services.
Every BODY that uses Google becomes DEVOTED when it decides to ACCEPT the system updates.

Höcker’s exhibition may shock. However, this is a courageous metaphor of our, often unaware, attachment to Google and other companies from the so-called Big Nine. Has any of us, accepting another consent to use our data, never, for a moment, had any sense of being enslaved? How far, as users, are we ready to devote ourselves to large corporations and sacrifice our privacy in exchange for apparent convenience?

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