Unfit Bits

Tega Brain and Surya Mattu - 2015

The artists analyzed fitbits to figure out how to easily fake fitbit data without having to actually exercise, publishing the methods they came up with. This project does so many things at once: it gives you (potentially) practical ways to resist fitbits, it's really funny, and the objects are actually really beautiful. The website presents the work as a parody of lifestyle products. That kind of shtick, while kinda funny, I find a little distracting. I think the humor of the solution is best in the physical objects. I would also like if instead they published how-to guides on creating your own unfit bits.

The work might be drawing from "readymades" like Man Ray's Object To Be Destroyed and Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel. It also is part of a long tradition of finding exploits in technology to circumvent the ways it is used to restrict us. There are lots of other people coming up with ways to trick surveillance technology (some of which we looked at in class):