Ket Katarina Popović media arts portfolio
Posted on September 30, 2018 by ketworks_cp8esr on Blog

The Boiled Frog – We Are Conditioned By The Gadgets We Use

Stepping aside from the awe of having all our home dance around us at a touch of a button, we are woken up to the fact that we are conditioned by the softwares (and hardwares) we use.

There is a story about a frog being boiled on slow heat. The increase of temperature is gradual, and the body of the frog adjusts, so the poor animal does not jump out of the water. And ever adjusting to the increase, the frog finally gets boiled.

This metaphor can be easily applied to our relationship with the gadgets that we use hours on end, every day. Our images, private lives, the body of work, concepts, ideas, secrets… it is all in our phone and our computer. And you become painfully aware of it once it gets stolen, for an example. Or when you learn about Cambridge Analitica. Before that, you are sucked into the ever-growing number of features, possibilities, applications. You are slowly being boiled.

In the text – A Fish Cannot Judge Water, the author points out that there is no neutral software and that each software is a culture and a product of the culture it comes from. This makes me think a bit down the line of where our “networked” culture came from and how it copulated with capitalism to create this market of desires that ask you to constantly want more shiny objects.

The situation is socially quite complex – not only you are targeted by your social status, but you are also formatted by the amount you can spend on your “objects”. A certain type of phone is your field of available interactions and addictions open to you “because” you have access to this kind of software and hardware. The quality of your photos WILL inspire you to share more. And have you heard of the Google Timeline? If you share your location it will happily track you for days. Yikes!

Critically approaching our purchases, the data we share, the hardware and software choices has become a sort of a lifestyle. If you use Open Software, immediately, you belong to a “certain” lifestyle group of people. It is almost like Chanel, but with a positive mission. Our oblivion to the fact that our beloved gadgets are robbing us of our privacy is maybe the first step to the frog waking up while it is still able to move. Here is an excerpt from Tactical Technology’ s Data Detox advice:

If we can say with ease a word “de-Googlise it means we are already into deep entangled relations. The message here is clear, let us open and reconfigure our relationship with the technologies we use in our work, leisure and artworks. If we cannot spend time to dissect all of them, let us at least be aware of how the objects are selling their culture through the usage of the object itself. Let us be aware of the harm behind the fun and innocent advertising language of “connection” and “friendship”.

If you have a Google phone you will use the cool Google pictures application but you will also have your data stored and in the USA, facial recognition will “help” you tag your friends. Do I need to tag them in the first place, and then do I need to be recognized by your software and kept in your training database?

Reflective blog based on the reading :

Snelting, Femke. 2006. A fish can’t judge the water. OKNO Publix, Brussels

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