Accept Terms and Conditions, Kuckei+ Kuckei, Berlin, 2018, Digital Dust AUG / SEP / OKT / DEZ 2018
Digital Dust, AUG.2017, detail
Photographs shot with a smartphone, sent via WhatsApp, or uploaded to social media are not just means to communicate with friends - they also reveal locations, interests, and behavioural patterns to supranational companies. With every step we do with a smartphone in our pocket, with every liked, shared or even deleted picture, our data-based, digital self-portrait becomes more accurate and distilled.
Digital Dust can be understood as such. The several metre-long stripes of fabric are reminiscent of analogue film rolls or contact prints, at second glance they reveal themselves to be timelines. In fact they are screenshots from the free cloud service Google Photo, where Lulay’s smartphone automatically stores all images it produces or receives. Lulay’s bubble-shaped private image contents dance across the geometric architecture of this online archive. Their organic shapes are inspired by Google’s sophisticated algorithms, which can recognize outlines of objects or colour combinations and thereby manage to arrange images not only by date and location but also in terms of content. Each of the 12 fabric stripes gives an overview of the “digital dust” Lulay has produced within one month. Countless images that presumably would not exist without the technical possibilities of immediate sharing, unlimited recording and free storage.
With Digital Dust, Lulay is alluding to the short life and exploding amount of images we produce via our smartphones, but also to the problematic nature of the fact that we make ourselves transparent to players like Google. Neoliberal companies who pretend to keep our anonymity but who in fact know much more about us then any institution in all previous history. Only slowly do we begin to wonder what will happen to all these bits of private information left online and what power is associated with Google’s knowledge about us.