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Sweet Data

Sweet Data (2019) is an installation artwork that seeks to foreground and provide a tangible embodiment of the Faustian bargain we all make in our exchange of personal data for the use of convenient online services. It investigates both the data economy and transparency in algorithmic decision making.

The piece contrasts an enticing and traditionally care-free vending machine with the surveillance of an all-seeing digital camera, while leveraging the aesthetic of early flashing web-adverts to tempt the audience into exchanging their personal data for the chance to get a sweet.

Using 'artificial intelligence', the artwork asks the customer to consent to having their picture taken, and in exchange the machine will determine if they are eligible for a free sweet. Whether or not a sweet is offered, the machine provides a receipt for the audience to explain its obfuscated decision-making process.