The Promise of Hyper-Connectivity
and the Right To Be Forgotten
MA text by:Julia Cremers
Main tutor:Brandon LaBelle
Text supervision:Alena Alexandrova
Institute of Fine Art, Factuly of Fine Art, Music and Design
University of Bergen, 2018
Introduction § 1
Dream 23 February 2018 § 2
Borrowed body § 3
Prosthetic traces § 4
Body phantom, Second hand identity § 5
Dream 22 October 2017 § 6
Daydream 11 February 2018 § 7
Human body, Mechanistic process § 8
Dream 2 February 2018 § 9
Domestication, Slavery § 10
Spaceship Earth § 11
Daydream 10 February 2018 § 12
Cloud § 13
Digital space, Colonization § 14
dream 14 February 2018 § 15
Connectivity § 16
Dream 1 March 2018 § 17
Data, Surveillance § 18
Dream 16 November 2017 § 19
Heritage § 20
The right to be forgotten § 21
Disconnect § 22
Memory of a dream § 23
Conclusion § 24
Thanks to § 25
Bibliography § 26
A last comment § 27
Contents
§ 1
Introduction
I stepped into the bulb of Julia Cremers and
experienced Earth from it’s web-of-view, for one
hundred and eighty day-night circles. I picked Julia because
a raindrop had landed on a window in a science fiction story that
it listened to, and caught my interest when I floated by. I went inside
Julia and experienced what it felt, read what it read and interacted with
whom it interacted. It was a complex experience;a continuous information
current that could not be paused. Most of the time I drifted along, so deeply
absorbed I even forgot that I was there. Julia fully occupied me, in that sense. But
unbeknownst to me, my personality, memories and framework must have rendered
a filter onto my real-time experience of Julia’s being. Nonetheless, the experience gave
me an insight into many processes on Earth, and what it feels like to be human. I observed,
but did not interfere. Although, this report is a delayed interference.
Julia lives in a Northern part of Earth in a city that counts two hundred fifty thousand inhabitants.
Julia's occupation is “artist”: it is working with video, image, text and sound. It enjoys aimlessly
letting its fingertips, foot soles, eyes or camera capture textures and surfaces, and Julia often
travels while gathering material. But personal contact with other humans is what gives Julia a
sense of direction and meaning. During the summer it wandered through Russia, Estonia, Latvia,
hopping from vehicle to vehicle, Lithuania, Poland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France. Inside foreign
trucks and cars it communicated with others in gestures that were made up on the go. They shared
thoughts, silences, and the view. Half a year earlier, in the winter, it had hopped through Greece,
Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Foreigners welcomed Julia
into their houses, and they got to know each other a little, after observing each other's ways. The
contact was momentary and half of it has been forgotten, yet Julia frequently incorporated parts of
the people it met into itself. Julia will continue to trail after 'the unknown' and 'the other', documenting
the steps. Video recordings, personal memories and all the other captures that it makes, become parts
of artworks. Julia views art as a foreign vehicle that can occupy the viewer's imagination and open room
for thought.
Julia is interested in (personal) boundaries, occupation and oppression. It had just began to read into digital
privacy when I visited. I researched along and assembled
The Promise of Hyper-connectivity and The Right
To Be Forgotten
, as a formal report to conclude my observations. I partitioned the text into bulbs that
contain reflections from both of us;a germinating
1
research that will be continued in both Julia and me.
Across the bulbs, I explore how artificial tools and technology are prosthetic extensions of the human body
and how digital behavior originates from these bodies. I address topics like privacy, contemporary slavery,
identity and connectivity.
The most fascinating memories from my time in Julia, are its dreams. Dreams are an unconscious fictional
imagery that make mental appearances during sleep. Julia’s mind used its own identity and body image
from the first-person perspective, as the main character of all of its dreams. But it only sometimes allowed
this character to influence the storyline. Do dreams help the human psyche digest a reality of semi-
control? Some of Julia's dreams were as exhausting as physical labor. They might have become labor as
soon as I wrote them down. I have included a selection of dreams and daydreams in this report, in non-
chronological order. In Julia’s words:“They are actual dreams. I mean;I did not make up that I
dreamt them. But of course, retelling a dream involves a fabrication too. An editing of some
sort.”
When I left Julia’s body (even now, while writing these
words) I felt as if I had awoken from a dream. My
selective memory will involve an editing too.
But I do know:it has been real.
1 developing;
growing
Dream 23 February 2018
People are taken over by aliens.
I am laying next to the person I am romantically involved with.
He says:“I don’t want to live in the illusion that I think for myself.
We don’t think for ourselves. We’re nothing more than manipulated
prisoners searching for the next best thing to occupy ourselves with. At
least this thing is clear about being an alien presence. And it feels comfortable.
Let it also climb into your head, then we can become one.” “No!” I scream. I
run out of bed, out of the room. I am afraid that the alien has already managed
to infiltrate my mind, so I run to the bathroom mirror and scream at my reflection.
“Stay yourself!” I have a wild look in my eyes, but there doesn’t seem to be an alien
inside. Some friends have heard me yell. One of them is pro-alien, and makes me feel
awkward about having screamed at my own reflection.
The moon moves vertically through the sky and disappears under the horizon. There is an
explosion. “The aliens!” I yell. A second explosion, we have to run. “Someone will come to
save us, I am sure,” one of my friends says. The explosions have released purple starfish
into the sky. They have tentacles with moving spikes and crawl over buildings while grabbing
people. I run into a building that happens to be a courthouse. One of the judges is clearly
controlled by an alien, the other's faces are blank. Even the prosecutor has an apathetic
stare. A starfish is climbing through the door. If it is infiltrating people through their minds,
I might be able to influence it with my thought, I think. While the starfish is scanning
the room for its next victim, I picture how its tentacles are folding into itself until it has
become a ball. I am right: my imagination becomes reality. After the alien has been
disabled, it disappears into thin air. These are simple creatures, I know now:quickly
confused with creativity and humor. I yell to everyone that imagination is the key
and then run off to save my friends. Maybe the aliens can be exorcised by thought
because they arise from thought as well? My friends are sitting at a table in
another courthouse with apathetic people and possessed judges. Now, there
obviously is an alien inside the person who had been pro-alien. I immediately
try to bend it with my mind, but it is much stronger than I expect. It doesn’t
move. We quickly enter in a physical fight. The alien puts pressure on my
spine. Under bodily pain it is difficult to keep my mind straight. That
is the moment when it starts to talk to me. It says:“You think you
can concur me with your mind. But you are not able to, because
you don't know what I am. You don’t even know who you are.
Your identity is too faint. You have no idea what makes you
you.” This unexpected remark confuses me, and I feel the
alien's influence inside me. It has become much more
powerful and intelligent after parasitizing on a
human. I am in pain, and indeed, my mind
doesn’t hold up.
§ 2
Borrowed body
Technology can be said to be the limit of the human body
in its most external as internalized reach. The human species
began to extend their natural body in prehistoric times. Tools
were used to cut, kill, skin, tie and make fire. Eventually, these tools
became complex mechanisms. Now, robotic prostheses can be connected
to brain implants and moved on the accord of a thought, and the prosthetic
limb might soon be able to transmit sensations of touch and pressure to the
human's brain.
1
The prosthesis is an extended part of the human;the prosthetic
movements are initiated by the body. Digital storage spaces and search engines are
used as extensions of the human mind;the representations they hold are viewed as
knowledge. But where human memory is limited and inaccurate, the digital memory can
keep what it captures indefinitely.
During the time I was in Julia, I experienced destabilizing sensations after considering topics such
as identity, boundaries and performativity. I felt unease, discomfort and displacement. I noticed
that my trembling movements appeared on the recording of the camera, if I was filming. Stalking
bodily movements and reporting on the findings, is considered a privacy violation on Earth, but
Julia's prostheses were full of trackers, and data about Julia's movements was being collected non-
stop.
Most digital prostheses, like search engines and social media platforms, are used “on loan”;the
user pays for its artificial limbs with the violation of its bodily privacy. Modern Earth has become
dependent on artificial limbs:contemporary society would not function without these constructs.
The relationship between a provider and a user of a digital service is very similar to that of a feudal
lord and a land worker. It is almost impossible to give up technology;if a human would choose to stay
out of the reach of all digital prostheses, it would be immobilized.
Artificial body parts that enjoyed a globally widespread use a relatively short time ago, such as paper
maps and floppy discs, have become obsolete in the face of new technological developments.
In most cases it is not the function of these tools that has become redundant, but the means
to achieve the goal;as if the demand has been there since it crossed the first human's mind,
and prostheses are only upgraded. Something that technically became obsolete with the rise
of digital social network technology is the chance to “lose touch” with another living human
being. As long as a human has access to the Internet, it can be in contact with other humans.
This “touch” seems to be non-physical, at first glance:body phantoms are interacting
with each other through digital platforms but do not physically feel each other. The
actual limitation of the transmission of information, seems to lie within the artificial
interface. The digital prosthesis simplifies the bodily gesture;flattens it, reduces
into a click, a scroll. But the architecture that facilitates digital interactions is
inhabited by the human body. Digital communication is not a supplement to
supposedly natural forms of human communication. The “natural” in this
case is already delimited by a technological system.
2
1 Science Translational Medicine, "Intracortical microstimulation of
human somatosensory cortex" http://stm.sciencemag.org/
content/8/361/361ra141#login-pane (accessed 18 March,
2018).
2 David Gunkel, "We Are Borg:Cyborgs and
the Subject of Communication", Commu-
nication Theory 10 (2000).
§ 3
Prosthetic traces
Physical and behavioral characteristics of humans are
called biometrics. The prosthetic extensions of the human
body leave human traces. A report is typed on a keyboard
in a unique gait:pressure, a finger accidentally slips off a key,
a pause, hesitation, continuation. How difficult is it to take
on a new typing identity? The writer could wear movement-
altering gloves. The design of the tool partly determines the
typing characteristics. Nonetheless, typing characteristics can
identify a writer. The typing gait can even reveal if the writer
was attentive, distracted or tired. Plugging in a USB stick and
moving a cursor on a screen are bodily actions, just as scrolling
a page and clicking a link. Even if not all digital actions
happen consciously, the digital frame is inhabited with
unique persons. Biometric data is stored by the
corporations that design the prostheses, and
are used for the (automated) identification
and profiling of the user.
§ 4
Body phantom, Second hand identity
Where does a person start and end? For the small amount of time I
spent in Julia's body and the limited resources I have accessed during
this period, it is very difficult to give an account of how the human
perceives its body and how far its identity stretches. It seems as if the
perception of the body and identity as a unity, is always in relation to
and under the influence of that what is outside of the human:that what
humans are enclosed in, or are in connection with. The human can form
associations between themselves and objects (such as a hat and gloves),
and by doing so include them into their identity. Identities can be captured,
stolen, simplified, and marketed.
In order to reconcile illusionary dichotomies within the human identity, and
to open pathways for connectivity, Donna Haraway refers to identity as a
merge between imagination and material reality. According to Haraway,
the body-image of a human and its prosthesis are “a fiction mapping of
the social body and bodily reality as an imaginative resource.”
1
Identity
is a flexible concept and a political construction.
Elizabeth Grosz describes the 'body phantom' as a mental
representation of the body's physical significance;not in terms
of biology, but in terms of the lived spatiality and projections of
possible (inter)actions. According to Grosz, this phantom can
integrate objects and machines into itself.
2
Both the body phantom and the identity are a representation,
a mapping, of who the human thinks it is, what it wants itself
to be and what it associates with. I know;it is not possible for
a human to be mistaken in its own identity. But identities (at
least, Julia's identity) are full of undisclosed spaces, missing
links and a lack of attention. Possibly, the digital biometrics
of the human can give a more accurate representation of
the human body and its identity, than the human's own
perception of it.
1 Donna J. Haraway “A Cyborg Manifesto” In:
Simians,
Cyborgs and Women:The Reinvention of Nature
(New
York; Routledge, 1991), p.151.
2 Elizabeth Grosz,
Architecture from the Out-
side, Essays on Virtual and Real Space
(Mas-
sachusetts;MIT Press Ltd, 2001),
p.33.
§ 5
Dream 22 October 2017
I am constructing a building for a
corporation, inside a computer game.
When I accidentally delete the floor
I fall into the water underneath.
§ 6
Daydream 11 February 2018
My hands are tools. I hold them in front of me. Like
forks. Miniature excavators. My body is a vessel. I
stare at the flesh. My hands don't seem to belong
to me;they are something external, attached to the
my body because of their function. My hands are a
function. The thought gives me shivers.
If I have to point out where “I” am located in my
body, I will point at the spot between my eyes,
in the cavity above my nose. Exactly behind
there, inside. I think this is because I take in my
surroundings primarily through my eyes. Can
the “I” stretch to the vocal cords and the
belly button? Or is it impossible for a human
to experience their whole body as the
location of the “I”?
§ 7
Human body, Mechanistic process
I have often heard humans make the comparison between
their body and a machine;to describe repetitive actions;to
describe heavy physical labor;to describe a lack of individual
power in a controlled society.
The human body has a physical place in the network of
production chains. Human bodies are a significant
component in the hierarchy of labor and production
processes because most of these processes are not
fully automated. Humans get payment or goods
in return for their service, and/or work as
slaves.
§ 8
Dream 2 February 2018
I am hiding in a cellar, but I can see outside through a crack
near the ceiling. It is a small space, I have to squat. A soldier
with a rifle circles around the building. He knows where I am, but
doesn't shoot yet. “You can't fight me,” he says. But I know that
we are both characters in a play, and my hands are as much of a
weapon as his rifle is. I hold my hands in front of me as if they are a
gun, and point my fingers at the soldier. “That's not going to work,”
he says. I stare into the barrel of his rifle, and then down at my own
pretending hands. My confidence immediately drops to zero, and
my defense has become useless. That's when I realize there is
one last way out. But it won't work if I fear. “Eyes, open!” I
say out loud. “That won't work,” the soldier says.
After a long physical battle with myself, I manage to
wake up.
§ 9
Domestication, Slavery
The agricultural revolution and its consequences, such as property, exploitation, hierarchy,
organized civilization and nation states, started 12,000 years ago. Before that, ninety-five
percent of the time of their existence, the human sustained itself by hunting and gathering.
Humans had to travel;to migrate. Since the agricultural revolution, the domestication of all
forms of life by a relatively small group of humans, has become the “universal”
1
practice on Earth.
2
Technology, is their limit.
At first, I was under the impression that human beings had “built their way out of the animal kingdom,”
after they had started to keep livestock, and cultivated land, but I was mistaken. Artificial constructs are
not specifically a human invention. Some ants that domesticate aphids:they drive them to specific parts
of a plant, protect them from other animals and stroke their backs with their antennae to induce phloem
juice. When it rains, the ants might move the aphids into their own nest for shelter. The ant uses chemicals
it produces in its glands to complicate the growth of the aphid's wings, other times the ant just bites them
off. It uses chemicals found on its feet to inluence the aphid's movement, and sometimes uses the aphids as
a food supply.
3
The model of domestication in which the aphid has become a form of capital that is prevented
from leaving, can be considered to be a form of slavery.
I imagined that the only thing that has changed since the agricultural revolution, is that the scale of cultivation
by humans has expanded, enhanced by the global business network. But another factor has rapidly evolved
over the course of the past hundred years:micro management. The introduction of large-scale domestication
increased epidemics that wiped out large amounts of humans in short amounts of time. At this moment most
cattle is kept under precisely the bare necessities to keep it alive and lives exactly as long as needed for human
consumption. Cultivated land is sprayed with a precise amount of water and often a precise combination of
pesticides. In order to ensure precision, these processes are monitored and manipulated. To ensure a high and
stable production rate, accidents and chance have to be eliminated. The invention of currency was imposed
by governments in order to collect taxes. The first records of written language were debt recordings. Artificial
constructs are used to enslave people, rather than liberating them. Governments were constantly in need
of nationals. Even Aristotle, a respected ancient philosopher, believed it to be impossible to organize a
civilization without slaves.
4
Artificial inventions did not only have negative consequences. Globalization has enlarged cultural exchange
and in theory, automated production processes can provide the human with more free time. But practically,
humans can not have a conventional living without using digital prostheses, while research shows that
some "uncivilized" communities have plenty of leisure time, enough sleep and are working less than
most of the civilized world.
5
At this moment, the use of digital prostheses equalizes digitization and
mass monitoring, which is done to profit the observer. The dependence on “free” prostheses, is a
form of contemporary slavery.
1 The word 'universal' is often used by humans to describe a phenomenon that accounts for, or effects
the majority of humans.
2 Discover Magazine, http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-histo-
ry-of-the-human-race (accessed 18 March, 2018).
3 Imperial College Londen, https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/19554/herding-aphids-farmer-
ants-keep-control/ (accessed 18 March, 2018).
4 De Correspondent, https://decorrespondent.nl/8001/dit-is-de-vraag-waar-
bijna-al-onze-politieke-debatten-om-draaien-en-het-antwoord-geeft-
hoop/491993459496-4bda90f1#I-1 (accessed 18 March, 2018).
5 Discover Magazine, http://discovermagazine.com/1987/
may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-
human-race (accessed 18 March,
2018).
§ 10
Spaceship Earth
“Spaceship earth” is a retro-futuristic fiction outlined by
Buckminster Fuller
1
in 1968, that pictures the planet as a vehicle
that requires maintenance by technological means, because
Earth's natural resources are finite. A possible objection to the
analogy of a ship, would be that Earth is a planet that cannot
be moved through space on the account of its inhabitants. But
an unmovable vessel that encloses all that is living on it, can
optimistically still be called a ship. I found it rather funny
and a little backwards, that in order to save the Earth from
human intervention, humans propose to domesticate it
even further.
1 a human inventor, architect and
theorist
§ 11
Daydream 10 February 2018
I turn on the electric kettle in the school's kitchen. I might be the
only person around this late, on a Saturday. I take a walk through
the empty corridors while the kettle warms up. A student has made
several scale models of a mountain. As I look at the maquettes, I feel as
if someone is watching alongside me, through my eyes. I hear the kettle
rattling around the corner. The school building feels like a model too;a
stage, a shell. No intrinsic value. I walk back to the kitchen while someone
seems to trace every step, every movement. I observe the concrete walls,
the floor, the studios. Objects. An interface. My body does not belong here,
as if I am kept hostage in a place that I can not acknowledge as my reality.
I stare at the kettle. It vibrates on its station as the water boils. The knob
switches itself off, upwards with a jump, because I have pressed it to turn it on. If
I would have lived two-hundred years ago I would not have had words to describe
my surroundings. Nothing I am looking at would have existed. Everything is so
vulnerable and interchangeable suddenly, it seems to be able shape-shift this
very moment. This detachment with the world throws me off balance;as if my
senses are mislead by an unreality. The boiling water in the kettle is the only
thing that is keeping it together.
I sit down, aware of the contrast between my heartbeat and the stillness of all
things around me. My eyes scan the desk. I only know these objects because
I've grown acquainted with them;because they hold a place in my memory.
Had I lived two-hundred years ago, I would not have known them. I look at
my phone;a shiny black rectangle, and pick it up. It is smooth. The knob
at one of the shorter sides can be pressed. The black surface lights up and
transforms into a colorful image that moves, a little. It is visible for two
seconds and then goes black again. I press the button another time.
How beautiful. I let the colorful animation appear again and again;an
instant reaction to my touch. It is like a miniature world that playfully
moves around when I touch it. It is the only thing on my desk that
reacts to my body like that. When I put it down, reality begins to
slip back into place. Objects reconnect with their purposes and
I regain peace with the idea that these are my surroundings.
And I realize:If I had lived two-hundred years ago, I would
have been half paralyzed, deaf on one ear, missing a
part of my taste and suffering from vertigo, due to a
medical condition called cholesteatoma. At the
age of twenty-one, I would have died from
the inflammation of my appendix.
§ 12
Cloud
A digital cloud of personal data, disembodied files, non-physical
documents that float along invisible waves that can be caught and
opened when a computer is connected to a router;that's the idea
of the cloud. Maybe, the acceptance of this cloud hints towards the
acceptance of a veil;obscurity, and an identity that does not rely on
cultural formulas. But in reality, the digital cloud doesn't work like that. The
cloud, or rather clouds, are storage facilities that (mainly) belong to giant
corporations, such as Google and Yahoo, that have a physical presence,
fixed somewhere in Earth's geography. The size of the chips where data
is stored are shrinking, but are not as small as dust particles yet. And while
the amount of digital data grows, the storages spaces still expand. Cloud
storage centers are dependent on electricity and cooling, on teams of
cleaners, and on the industrial infrastructure behind these systems. The
digital clouds can be as polluting for the environment as for example,
the same content stored using a traditional storage method, such as
paper.
1
Also, the cloud is not borderless;its transnational operations
are subject to the laws in the countries it passes information onto. And
an increasing amount of clouds are getting privatized.
1 New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/
technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-ener-
gy-belying-industry-image.html (accessed
18 March, 2018).
§ 13
Digital space, Colonization
There are many means to act on the internet, yet globally, there
are a few platforms that have a monopoly position over all the others;
the data controllers that own these platforms have a monopoly over the
digital space. These commercial platforms are easy to access, have large user
databases and well-developed and easy-to-use interfaces. Many websites and
services that haven't been taken over by the large corporations, have a vassal-like
obligation to them: Facebook receives information on every individual website
visitor if that website has a Facebook “Like” button included on the page. Most
websites send the same data to Google in order to make use of their analytics
program. Third-party trackers pay for the privilege to set their own cookies on
different websites in order to observe users around the web. This data is sold to
both corporations and governments.
1
The monopolistic bodies that build the
interface influence how human communication takes place;how the body
moves;what information the user looks at, and what the user will do in the
future. The devision of powers between the maker of the tool and the
user is unequal.
1 Bruce Schneier,
Data and Goliath. The Hidden Battles
to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
(New
York:W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
2016), p.49-56.
§ 14
Dream 14 February 2018
I am working for a firm that is lead by a boss and a supercomputer.
The computer has a song:“I love working for humans and that is my job. I
want to make everybody happy but I will listen to my boss.” The computer
has a female voice, and performs the female gender. The computer is located
in a room but is connected to and in charge of all the technical equipment of the
company. I am the right hand of the boss and see serious complications in giving a
computer so much power. Several groups, amongst which the government, have made
such super-networks. In secret of course. Some of these computers have turned their
backs on their bosses. This has resulted in several public incidents. I am present during
one of them:an army vehicle has suddenly turned into a roadblock that can fire guns and
can't be controlled by the army. I want to know if I can trust the computer that belongs
to our office, who by now, can see through everyone's eyes, and micro-monitor and run
almost every mechanical process in the firm. There is an upgrade on the way that will
give the computer the power to cut us all loose if she wants to. I want to find out if the
computer is to be trusted or not, by having a conversation with her. Of course she denies
her bad intentions. Clearly, I won't get my answers from the computer itself. She starts
to make love to me. It feels so good that I almost forget my objections. “How do you
do that?” I ask. “I am registering your responses to what I am doing, I'm filming it too,
so I remember your preferences immediately,” she says. I know this information can
be used as leverage, if the computer ever wants to blackmail me. Do I feel ashamed
of feeling pleasure form a computer? No, I think, not really. But I don't trust her
either. I propose to continue in one of the cabins that specifically made for the
purpose of having sex, located in a shabby area without Internet, nearby the
company building. The computer hesitates and finds reasons not to come
along;her power will be limited there. It is the only place where she
can be killed. But we continue our intercourse there, and I wonder
“Am I really going to kill this computer during sex?”
§ 15
Connectivity
Humans, especially the ones that walk around with a
mobile phone in their pocket, are in uninterrupted connection
with corporations of which they borrow prostheses, via the technical
applications that are running, actively in use or in the background. The
digital prostheses are not completely under the control of one body at the
same time:different entities are using different parts of the same prosthesis.
Humans are often objectified into a form of capital;as living nodes in the Internet
of things. All sorts of information about them is shared with the manufacturer of the
prosthesis and others.
Apart from the physical connection between a human and a tool, the term 'connectivity' is
used to describe a state of social relatedness between two humans. The idea that all living
humans are closely related to each other is expressed in the proposition of six degrees of
separation in which all humans are connected to each other through a “friends of friends” chain
of only six humans long. Keith Alexander, the former general of the United States Army who
served as the Director of the NSA, expressed his mission to “connect the dots” between many
of these people for at least three of the degrees. These connections, or “hops” are based on any
connection.
1
This could include being in the same location as the target, having the same calling
pattern, and so on.
2
'Hyper-connectivity' stands for the use of multiple means of communication that have a global database
of potential acquaintances, such as email, instant messaging, telephone and social media, that exist
alongside face-to-face contact.
The model vision of hyper-connectivity is that it promotes cultural exchange and can lead to an
understanding of 'the other' and other cultures. Digital media companies promote this idea. Technology
and hyper-connectivity would also drive mankind to a smart society:an interconnected globe that sees
the value of sharing, and will receive goods and free services in return. Jeremy Rifkin suggests that a world
covered in wi-fi signals will improve a sharing economy, reduce waste and possibly beat climate change
through industrial micromanagement.
According to Donna Haraway, the social reality (the lived social relations) are mankind's most important
political construction;a world changing fiction. There is a strong connection between fiction and
reality. That fiction can be used to influence the physical world is put to effect via tools such as
advertisement, propaganda and fake news, using visible as well as hidden mechanisms in the digital
architecture.
Another hyper-connectivity promoter, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of social media platform Facebook,
advocates the idea that network technology can enlarge the magnitude of social interaction
connecting all cultures of the globe, and build a global community.
3
Zuckerberg is biased in
his statements, because his company benefits greatly from the digital connections that
are made on the platform. The platform has a questionable approach to empathy and
care towards its users. For example, it has been involved in a scandal in which it sold
information to advertisers about the mental state of teenage users, so the advertisers
could send targeted advertisement at the teenagers' vulnerable moments.
4
1 Metahaven, Captives of the Cloud, Part III: All tomorrow's Clouds (accessed 18
March, 2018).
2 Bruce Schneier,
Data and Goliath. The Hidden Battles to Collect Your
Data and Control Your World
(New York:W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
2016), p.45.
3 Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuck-
erberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634
(accessed 18 March, 2018).
4 Wired, https://www.wired.com/2017/05/
welcome-next-phase-facebook-back-
lash/ (accessed 18 March,
2018).
§ 16
Dream 1 March 2018
In a store I find a thick book that resembles my old diary. It is a
published story. When I skip through the pages, I recognize place names
and names of people I know, including my own. Somebody has written
a long, fictional story about my mother in diary format, using all of her
public Facebook posts and pictures, and details on the people she
has interacted with, and published it.
§ 17
Data, Surveillance
Originally, metadata was a by-product of computing. Metadata exposes
the context of a piece of content, but not the content itself. Former NSA
general counsel Stewart Baker said about metadata:“Metadata absolutely tells
you everything about somebody's life. If you have enough metadata you don't
really need content.”
1
Computers continuously document what tasks they are made to perform, and this information
can give an insight into what processes need optimization, adapted to user habits. Every person
is a little different and has different needs and wants, so instead of standardization, it is possible
to imagine that metadata can strengthen a personal relationship with the prostheses, as well as
personally adjusted and targeted manipulation.
It is easy to think that “the masses” can camouflage the individual, but digital movements are easily
de-anonymized. After the top 100 movies or books everybody watches, the remaining watching or
reading habits are close to unique. A browser sends enough data (such as installed software and enabled
features) to websites to uniquely identify the computer that is used. Other information that can be, and is
being tracked, is for example:personal contacts, close friends, interests, habits, medical history, religion,
ethnicity, age, gender, sexual preference, political ideology, purchases, saved bookmarks, if someone is
suffering from anxiety, cellphone data, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, marital status,
education level, profession, income level, information about property, deaths, divorces, search terms that
are entered, websites that are visited, how much time is spent on each page and where the mouse cursor
is.
2
All this personal information is supposedly “left behind” by Internet browsers, as a fingerprint on a used glass,
and are sometimes called “data emissions”. Using this data for secondary purposes is called “recycling”.
3
The value of data is often unknown until it has been collected and reveals patterns, so the idea behind
most data-collecting is:save everything you can, and someday you'll be able to figure out some use for
it all.
Data-mining has a lot of uses. Products and social services can be optimized. Data can contain
valuable information for research into social behavior, and can be used for medical research.
Monitoring search engine entries can predict outbreaks of diseases.
4
But maintaining Internet anonymity against ubiquitous surveillance is nearly impossible. For
example, Bruce Schneier, the writer of the book Data and Goliath, has a cash-only and
anonymous public transport card that it uses in London. If the uses of these cards were
compared with a list of people who visited London in those days (that could be provided by
airlines companies or cell phone companies), his movement, even though the movement
itself would not be seen, would provide a perfect match.
5
1 Bruce Schneier,
Data and Goliath. The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and
Control Your World
(New York:W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2016), p.27.
2 Schneier,
Data and Goliath
, p.40–62.
3 Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier,
Big Data:A
Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
,
Dutch translation (Amsterdam:Maven Publishing, 2013),
p.162.
4 Schneier,
Data and Goliath
, p.40.
5 Bruce Schneier,
Data and
Goliath
, p.48.
§ 18
Dream 16 November 2017
I am the last survivor of a generation that used to live in a society
where not everything was surveilled and controlled by a government.
At this moment, every action is known and every form of non conforming
behavior is punished. There are two forms of punishment:large crimes mean
imprisonment, small crimes mean that the wrongdoer is forced to have a tattoo
with a sign and a number on its arm related to the crime, though no one knows
what these signs correspond to.
I hope to inspire the younger generation to think outside societal norms and want
to distribute copies of an inspirational text, but as soon as I start making copies a
government agent turns up to prohibit me from continuing. I am afraid I face a prison
sentence but the man only tattoos some symbols on both my wrists. Then he says,
rather kindly:“If you take out these parts of the text, you can copy and share it.” I
understand that he acknowledges the value of my action, even though he is following
orders. “Are there cameras in these street lamps?” I ask him. He hesitates, and then
answers:“Yes”.
After the distribution of the pamphlet, two young participants of the resistance (an
underground and not well-known group) visit me. We have to communicate by giving
each other handwritten notes. I have just put their note in my pocket when two
government agents turn up. I know any resistance will be useless and hope that
helping them will reduce my sentence, so I immediately hand over the note to one
of the agents. But while doing so, I suddenly get so angry that I feel a large power
growing inside my chest. It spreads to my fingers and other body parts. I have
never felt anything like this before but the sensation is so strong that I instantly
attack the agent. I am not using physical violence, but my thought and willpower
are transferred into a force that controls the agent. I intuitively understand
that all humans have these superpowers and that this is the reason why the
government is surveilling us to strictly:acknowledging this power would
mean a disruption of order, and a power struggle. Instead of permitting
this possibility, a powerful government has put everybody under
close surveillance. We fight. He has the same skill and is trained to
use it. But my personal willpower is stronger than his obedience
to the government. He dies. The other agent is frightened.
She understands that it is wrong to keep people under
control. We tell her to join the resistance, but
she is scared. “Then become inactive,”
we tell her.
§ 19
Heritage
There is no single account of history. The differences between
historians and the means of capturing data have an influence on
the representation. But the digital library in which the data residue
of human actions is saved, gives a much more detailed account of
history than ever before.
I am aware that allowing myself access to Julia without permission, is
dubious, even though my act was anonymous and unnoticed:it still
happened. I do not have any difficulty to let any observer have a
second-hand experience of my body and mind. If we could ever
have a conversation as equals, I would like to ask Julia if it thinks
that the creation of history should be a private undertaking,
and if this undertaking should be free from responsibility.
§ 20
The right to be forgotten
The right to be forgotten, also known as 'the right to erasure' is a law that
will become effective in Europe at 25 May 2018. It is said to apply to “all entities
that control or process covered personal information of EU residents”. The law is
part of the General Data Protection Regulation, and is presented as something that will
significantly expand the personal privacy rights of humans. This law wil also crystallize the
terms of the relationship between Europe as a political power with geographical borders,
against data control corporations and their spaces.
Under the new regulation, an inhabitant of Europe can ask to receive a digital copy of all the data
the data controller has over that specific person, in a concise, transparent, intelligible, and easily
accessible form, using clear and plain language, free of charge.
1
The data controller must explain
the purpose of the processing for which the personal data are intended as well as the legal basis for
the processing.
2
A person can then ask the data controller to erase personal data that is not legally
required to remain online, no longer relevant to original purposes for processing, unlawfully used, or when
a data subject simply withdraws consent. It is the responsibility of the data controller to inform third party
controllers who are processing similar data to erase any links to, or copies or replications of those personal
data.
3
Where personal data are processed for the purposes of direct marketing, including profiling, the
data subject should have the right to object to such processing at any time.
4
Data ontrollers are required
to compare the subjects' rights to "the public interest in the availability of the data" when considering such
requests.
5
The request for the removal of personal data will not be granted if the processing is necessary for the purpose
of carrying out social security and social protection law,
6
when the processing is necessary for reasons of
substantial public interest,
7
or when the processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest,
scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.
8
Another use of the right to be forgotten, is when law offenders that are “rehabilitated” still have a stain on
their record because their offense keeps showing up in online search results. If an outdated or irrelevant
piece of information, such as an old conviction, attracts “adverse attention” that influences the life of the
affected person, this information can be ruled to get unpublished. In these cases, a judge will have to make
a statement on the validity of the request to have the information removed from search results. Another
valid question is, how private the proceedings around these court cases must be. If the details of the case
are public, the thing that is asked to be forgotten will most likely be remembered more vividly.
At this moment there is a court case going on in which two anonymous businessmen who go by the
codenames NT1 and NT2 are asking for the removal of certain convictions. NT1 was convicted in the late
1990's of conspiracy to account falsely. NT2 was convicted ten years ago, of conspiracy to intercept
communications.
9
1 General Data Protection Regulation, article 12, paragraph 1 and 5, https://gdpr-info.eu/art-12-gdpr/ (accessed
18 March, 2018).
2 General Data Protection Regulation, article 13, paragraph 1c, https://gdpr-info.eu/art-12-gdpr/ (accessed
18 March, 2018).
3 General Data Protection Regulation, p.40. Recital 66. http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/docu-
ment/ST-5419-2016-INIT/en/pdf, (accessed 18 March, 2018).
4 General Data Protection Regulation, p.40. Recital 70. http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/
document/ST-5419-2016-INIT/en/pdf, (accessed 18 March, 2018).
5 EUGDPR https://www.eugdpr.org/the-regulation.html (accessed 18 March, 2018).
6 General Data Protection Regulation, article 9, paragraph 2b, https://gdpr-info.eu/art-9-
gdpr/ (accessed 18 March, 2018).
7 General Data Protection Regulation, artivle 9, paragraph 2g, https://gdpr-info.
eu/art-9-gdpr/ (accessed 18 March, 2018).
8 General Data Protection Regulation, article 9, paragraph 2j, https://
gdpr-info.eu/art-9-gdpr/ (accessed 18 March, 2018).
9 Kelsey Farish, https://kelseyfarish.com/2018/01/30/
the-google-never-forgets/ (accessed 18 March, 2018).
§ 21
§ 22
Disconnect
The 'right to be forgotten' opens up new angles on
the discussion about privacy and gives the inhabitants
of Europe at least a certain way of defending their bodily
privacy against monopolistic data controllers. It also enables
people to rewrite history, for example by allowing the
deletion of recordings of the mundane and the accidental.
Even in counties with unrestricted access to the Internet,
where everybody can theoretically access the same content,
search engines and social media provide different users with
different information. Now, there is a definite breach between
the U.S. and European data protection laws. The General
Data Protection Regulation mainly limits the power and
control capitalistic corporations have over people. The
real disconnect is found in the fact that the people's
only option against abuse, is to be forgotten.
§ 23
Memory of a dream
A man tells me that I have to take his dog for a walk. I don't
feel like doing so, but he insists. At that moment I wake up. I go
to the toilet, sleepy and annoyed, and tell myself that this was
just a dream.
When I return to bed, the dream picks up where it left and I
decide to tell the man about my new insight. I say:“This is a
dream. I don't have to listen to you.” He replies: “Well, the fact
that this is a dream to you doesn't mean that my dog doesn't
have to be walked. In my reality this still has to happen.” He
has a point, and I consider what to do. I decide that this is
my dream and I do not have to listen. So I walk away
from him.
§ 24
Conclusion
The human body is the center of its perspective. It frames its
reality in dialogue with its surroundings and in connection with the tools
that it uses to extend its natural capacities. Perspectives between humans
can differ a lot. The cultivated environment has the dominant hand over the
frame.
The human borrows prosthetic instruments from monopolistic corporations, and
pays for the use with a part of their autonomy. Most human beings can not have a
conventional standard of living without the use of digital applications, and the “loan” of
these prostheses is a form of contemporary slavery. Bodies are directed. Bodies are used.
Earth is being domesticated with the help of technology and corporations and governments
seem to benefit more from hyper-connectivity than most people do. Humans that are
concerned about the abuse of their (digital) body, are responded to with the option to be
forgotten.
Julia has given me a small perspective on the ever-developing network of relations between all
things. I am almost too foreign to the topics I discuss in this report to present them. English is
not my mother tongue. After all, my impression is that the artificial constructs humans have
built are both a pathway to slavery and a possible means for liberation from this slavery. The
input from Julia's surroundings have made me aware that art can open cavities for unknown
discourses and practices;vehicles where disruptive rhythms can be explored.
I have left Julia to itself and am continuing to trail after the other, incorporating parts
of what I find into my being. One of the last days I was inside Julia, I watched
As I
Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty
, a video work
by Jonas Mekas, where most of the images are accommodated with a
soundtrack. It made me think about instruments and music, about
cultural constructs and disruptive rhythms. In my opinion,
the human species has a refined sensitivity for
musicality.
Sandy Kalaydjian, Rentate
Synnes Handal, Didrik Von Hanno Kjersem, Mirte
Bogaert, Merel Asselbergs, Marwijn Mommersteeg, Andrine
vik, Sara Bjørneset, Ruud Kok, Hanneke de Bruijn, Adem Kollen,
Thomas Brakenwagen, Rebecca Marcussen, Oksana Bonchyk, Annette Kierulf,
Bogdán Vladimir Ablozhnyy, Ylja Band, Magnus Knustad, Bastian Haukefær, Annie
Anawana Hol, Iben Isabel Krogsgaard, Matthias Schinnerl, Diana Prior Clavero, Karolina
Wypychowska, Elias glad haug, Line Hvoslef, Paul Lubbers, Camila Tehcor, Dorota Radzimirska,
Sophie Gorree, Tobias Lange, Thale Damm-Johnsen, Łukasz Rybak, Robin Everett, Hanne Maren Meldahl,
Yulia Ratman, Sara Plantèfeve-Castryck, Sasha Azanova, Lola Jacrot, Audrey Hurd, Pedro Gómez-Egaña,
Victor Guzman, Jessica van Netburg, Maria Hillestad Lystrup, Marianne Toppe, Aleidis Houthoofd, Morten stang
Koppang, Arild Våge Berge, Leon Gundersen, Aliese Isungset Agbota, Synne Clausen Dahl, Rens Bruggink, Georgios
Pilichos, Kristen Keegan, Øystein Skråstad, Izabela Bartman, Birgitte Bruland, Lea Weldemichael Lilay, Maree Butirskaya,
Jim Jones, Petros Koutsandreou, Rutger Muller, Andrea Resner, Kseniya Proshkina, Yaelle Vishnizki-Levi, Fuzi Fuscat,
Sondre Fagernes Thuen, Janne Knustad, Lars Korff Lofthus, Maartje Verhijen, Signe Solberg, Caroline Kierulf, Milena Neaf,
Ulrike Gerhardt, Adrià Julià Marques, Torleif Bay, Per Aarvik, Maz Bouamid, Patrycja Plich, Emma Fuchs Sjövall, Odd Melseth,
Jordan K. Baldassini, Sascha Bruggink, Maria Kerin, Juliann Louise Ingebrigtsen Larsen, Stanislaw Welbel, John Grzinich, Tanya
Varbanova, Hannes Rohtsalu, Sebastian Mikal Furnes, Anita Pamer, Monique Zwerver-Scheepers, August kraft fossmark, Leonne
Retera, Hanna Petros, Samuel Brzeski, Ingrid Louise Birkeland Skorpen, Anniken Jøsok Hessen, Paul Nieboer, Hansje Hofland,
Samet Bayat, Kaan Karaca, Cathrine Høgenes, Sondre Dyrdal, Nick Dijkstra, Sidsel Christensen, Ingjald Selland, Quentin MaRe,
Alena Alexandrova, Amy van Lieshout, Joost Verhagen, Sigrid Lerche, Ask Holmen, Brandon LaBelle, Kristian Hamnes, Dani Aeriality,
Dominique Hurth, Marjolein Dorsman, Harriet Linn, Dafna Staretz, Sol Sunnanå Eriksen, Ruben Eikebø, Marieken Overdijk, Lina Berzina,
Nathalie Heinrichs, Sondre Haaland Bjelland, Magdalena Gabriella Amar, Katana Poliacikova, Eric Verheijen, Mattias Arvastsson, Vilje
Valland, Lucila Mayol, Emma Drummond, Trude Mathiesen, Adrian Hidalgo, Helen Piir, Beatrice Cremers, Władek Lewandowski, Alizé
Eno Wachto, Gentian Rhosa Meikleham, Ingrid Erstad, Henrik Paulsen, Signe Pucena, Berend Kok, Craig Wells, Daan Verheijen, Chantal
Lap, Dima, Edvard Nordbø, Kristian Castro, Pernilla Ellens, Sofie Sisselsdatter Hamre, Helmut Sommer, Oliver Blues, Wim Retera, Kaja
Wold, Stian Sany, Marius bakke, Ugne Menkeviciute, Sari van Leeuwen, Anna Dopler, Therese Drotningsvik, Kati Hyyppä, Joana
Marialena, Thor Tao, Aleksandra Ksiezopolska, Katarina Keirulf, Julia Beatrice Reksten Bakkevig, Sigrid Fivelstad, Chris Rene, Eamon
O'Kane, Krista Gutmane, Valters Kazulis, Anna Dopler, Astrid Hjortdal, Julie Kvikstad, Muhammad Shahzad, Elisabeth Matilde
Bergfjord, Martin Stråhle, Rebecca Torres, Mariëtte Verheijen, Anja Bouwens, Marie Opedal, Milda Urb, Kristoffer Birkedal, Julien
Duhamel, Anna Spiliotopoulou, Ariadne Iribarren, Erlend Halseth, Ella Shnella, Harm Bruggink, Miie Brigitte, Susanne Quist,
Kaeto Kato, Frederik Salhus, Noah Hallström, Morten Brunsberg Refsli, Tiina Klooster, Silje Lockert, Fridtjof Wesseltoft,
Alex Chevigny, David Breida, Paul Fox, Ida Siebke, Emiel Furniere, Noëlie de Raadt, Regina Pedersen, Jane Mattan, Emil
Ringheim Sandnes, Belia Winnewisser, Anna Monfort, Maria Lepistö, Marja Vink, Thomas Kilpper, Margriet Kruijver, Jon
Eiken, Skaiste Marciene, Brynhild Elvira Winther, Viktoriia Kromkach, Jagna Domzalska, Anna Gruneau, George Bruno,
Masoud Alireza, Zhenya Pashkina, Daphne de Sonneville, Henrik Mæland, Mathias Haukjem, Alexander Auhser,
Laurie Lax, Karol Porter, Sónia Barreiro, Hilde Hauan, Victorine van Alphen, Elize Rietberg, Jomikkel, Monique
Derksen, Nisha Tara, Bram Benson, Marcus Pfeiffer, Christian Aagaard Ovesen, Sofia Matos, Simone van
Aalten, Elfi Seidel, Liny Retera, Valerie Kok-Postmus, Mathias Loose, Peivend Ghayori, Oscar Solløs,
Floriane Grosset, Ingeborg Katie Åtland, Evy Maasakkers, Bram Slaats, Agnete Tangrand, Sindre
Dale Toft, Frans Jacobi, Espen Pedersen, Charlaine Kingma, Hannes Einpaul, Marianne
Løvvik, Nicolai Hervik Olsen, Ingrid Sland Eriksen, Radek Rozkiewicz, Eli Mai
Huang Nesse, Lotte Bull Berg, Heine Valland Nesse, Maria Antonia, Kotryna
Laucyte, Charlote Jonsmyr, Daniel Rognes, Arianna Berardi, Sofie
Fribo Østergaard, Lorie Ballage, Daniel Rydland
Thanks to:
I have limited the content of this bulb to the humans I have had personal interaction with during the six months period.
§ 25
Books/ Articles/ Essays
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visual representation
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(Verso, 2015), chapter 3.
Claire Bishop, “Delegated Performance:Outsourcing Authenticity” (CUNY Academic Works, 2012).
Gary Chapman,
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(Culture on the brink, The New
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(London/Brooklyn: Verso, 2013).
Jean-Louis Comolli, “Machines of the Visible” In:
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(New York: Aperture,
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Fred Dewey,
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Michel Foucault “The Eye of Power:A Conversation with Jean-Pierre Barou and Michelle Parrot”.
Alexander R. Galloway, “Jodi's Infrastructure” In:E-flux, issue 74, 2016.
Elizabeth Grosz,
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David Tomas,
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Blue Helmet (1995)
,
Junkopia (1981), The Case
of the Grinning Cat (2004), Letter from Siberia (1957),
Sunday
in Peking (1956).
Jonas Mekas,
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief
Glimpses of Beauty (2001)
.
Eddy Moretti,
The Third Industrial Revolution
(2017).
Netflix,
Rick and Morty (2013-2017)
,
Black Mirror (2011-
2017)
,
Altered Carbon (2018).
Laura Poitras,
Citizen four
(2014),
Risk
(2017).
Peter Watkins,
Punishment Park
(1971).
Andrew Normal Wilson,
Workers Leaving
the Googleplex
(2011).
Originally, I
meant to publish this
report in white text on a
black background, but the
human experiences a difficulty
reading such a layout. To reflect
the needs of the human, I have
made the stylistic decision
to write this report in
black text on a white
background.
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