Image credits: David Mirzoeff 2017

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. Each fembot has a name, age and location, and uses predefined sentences from a list of pick-up lines to contact other users. In the world of on-line intimacy, how do humans and machines overlap? How can we know to whom we‘re giving our data – and maybe our deepest secrets – in a realm as diffuse and intangible as the internet?