Running until the 12th November, the Glass Room is a fascinating project that describes itself as “a pop-up shop, a space for reflection, experimentation and play on how our we live our lives online.”
A self styled “disruptive tech store with nothing for sale,” the three-floor pop up shop in London’s Charing Cross Road, challenges you to reconsider the technologies you use every day, how much they reveal about you, and what choices you can make in our quantified society.
Various interactive exhibits reveal how a user’s most intimate data can be aggregated into data sets and mined for patterns and become a tech companies’ most valuable asset.
Here’s how they describe the venture:
The Glass Room is a pop-up tech store with a twist. At first glance, it offers the latest in shiny digital consumer products, such as the newest tablet, fitness tracker or facial recognition software. But as you go inside, you’ll find there is nothing for sale.
Instead, as you look closer at the ‘products’ on display, you’ll see that they are playfully and provocatively selected to turn the technologies we all use on their head. The artworks, design pieces, and ‘Ingenius’ staff welcome you to take a look behind the screens into the hidden world of what happens to your data.
Dig deeper into how much we reveal about ourselves by trying out free, alternative apps, taking away the 8-day Data Detox Kit, or interacting with our thematic programme of workshops and events.
The Glass Room is an intervention that prompts reflection, experimentation and play. A place that invites you to discuss how data and technology are changing the personal, professional and social fabric of all our lives and a way of making informed choices in the future.
Here’s some photos from the pop up store:
Facial-recognition systems are now installed in airports, sporting arenas and border checkpoints and are fuelled by algorithms that have been trained to recognise your facial features. Apparently I look like a mix of a female and a bloke with short hair.
Artist Aram Bartholl compiled the 4.6 million passwords that were leaked in the hack of the professional networking site LinkedIn in 2012.
Ashley Madison Angels at Work in London:
Millions of users looking to have extramarital affairs had their data exposed when the infidelity website Ashley Madison was hacked in 2015. The hack also exposed that many of the ‘women’ on the site turned out to be bots fabricated by the company to compensate for their lack of real female subscribers. Around The Glass Room, !Mediengruppe Bitnik have temporarily embodied six of the 436 fembots that were active in the immediate vicinity, providing ‘entertainment’ to around 203,581 registered users in London.
Since it was founded in 1998, Google – now Alphabet – has acquired more than 180 companies and invested in a further 400, expanding its services to mobile (Android), video (YouTube), the home (Nest), self-driving cars and the world’s largest library.
A 3D infographic maps Google’s acquisitions and investments, based on openly available information.
The Data Detox Bar invited people to visit the Alternative App Centre to get open-source tools and services for improved privacy and learn how to manage their digital lives.
The Glass Room will be open until Sunday 12th November, from 12:00pm – 08:00pm every day.
The Glass Room
69-71 Charing Cross Road
London WC2H 0NE