zapra – CriticalInterface

4. The interface collects traces: traces and remains of all agents/agencies which converge in it.

  • Use a notebook to write down your bookmarks, your contacts, your searches.
  • Block the GPS of your phone. If you need to find a place, ask someone. Things will happen.
  • Use your first Nokia 3210 phone again (try not to get too nostalgic about it).
  • Become an Open Data Donor. Only give data deliberately and make sure it stays Open.
  • Connect your computer to a projector and share your screen with your neighborhood. Get used to it, that's our average privacy level.
  • Make a screenshot of the application you are currently using, and print it. Pin it to your bedroom wall.

I was interested in tenet 4 because of its implication that the interface is constantly documenting our interactions. While I assumed the manifesto meant that this is simply a critical part of  the interface, the examples frame this as a hostile occurrence. With digital interfaces encroaching more and more in our lives, we must maintain our awareness of them and their observations of us. Satirically, the assignments provided focus on maintaining control in an omnipresent expanse of data collection services. I find it interesting that they encourage maintaining control by either submitting yourself willingly to a zero privacy reality, or going completely off the grid to prevent any traces of you from existing.

Ironically, purchasing an Amazon Alexa with full acknowledgement of the data mining potential would be completely in line with these assignments. While our smartphones are already listening to us, many people are still convinced that they are still respecting our privacy, at the very least when not in use. By installing a microphone device designed to listen to you all the time, we take back some control with the voluntary sacrifice of our privacy.