The White Room was a live installation in the exhibition Nervous Systems at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), curated by Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski of Tactical Tech and Anselm Franke of HKW. Open from 11 March to May 9 2016, The White Room had nearly 10,000 visitors during its opening.
The White Room manifests as the ideal corporate shopping experience; fully equipped with data experts, product lines and a hands- on training facility. ‘Valued customers’ can play with our everyday devices and gain a better understanding of the digital shadows they cast. Through sleek interfaces and user friendly systems, visitors will see how individual identities are mediated by the state and through corporations. The White Room shows participants how data is aggregated by their activities in existing technological environments and acts as a guide for the broader scope of the ‘self' within these environments. Through this interactive experience, visitors will acquire the knowledge to make more informed choices online based on the current state of internet freedom, privacy, and surveillance.
Credits: Hendrik Lehmann 2016
The range of artworks, investigations, products, and advocacy projects presented in the space emphasize the importance of digital autonomy, its political implications, and are arranged into four thematic sections: The Ingenious Bar; Something to Hide; Big Mama; and Normal is Boring.
Quotes from the press
The White Room opens up the black box of our daily technological environment, brings to light the links between Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups and the military-industrial complex, and even uncover the Big Brother that hides behind the benevolent masks of some philanthropic initiatives.
We Make Money Not Art — White Room Berlin
The White Room offers a tour through the newest developments in apps and wearable technologies – fitness trackers, subcutaneous contraceptive implants, biometric ID cards – along with insight into their possible grievances: punitive insurance premiums, corporate control over employees’ fertility, financial capture of even destitute citizens.
FRIEZE D/E — White Room Berlin
The White Room Berlin in the press
- WDW Review, July 2016: Can the Cultural Logic of the Digital Era be Exhibited? A tale of two shows [EN]
- FRIEZE D/E, July 2016: Home Alone: On art, architecture, and domestic effects of digitalization [EN]
- Metropolism, May 2016: How to live in a society where every aspect of life is quantified [EN]
- Art Monthly, May 2016: Issue 396: Berlin Round-up [EN]
- Kunstkritikk, May 2016: Livit som data (Life as Data)
- We Make Money Not Art, April 2016: Confessions of a Data Broker and Other Tales of a Quantified Society [EN]
- TAZ, April 2016: Digitaler Bärendienst: Leben unter den Bedingungen der digitalen Ausforschung: die „Nervöse Systeme“-Schau im HKW (Digital disservice: Life under the condition of digital scrutiny) [DE]
- Art Berlin, April 2016: Gallery Weekend Guide: Kunst-Tipps von Dr. Nina Koidl (Gallery Weekend Guide: Art Tips from Dr Nina Koidl) [DE]
- Zeitgeschichte, April 2016: Identität im Digitalen Zeitalter (Identity in the Digital Age) [DE]
- Neues Deutschland, April 2016: Im technischen Nervenzentrum (In the technical nerve centre) [DE]
- Furtherfield, April 2016: Nervous Systems – Algorithms and our everyday life [EN]
- Dwutygodnik, April 2016: Niewidzialne fronty (Invisible Frontlines)
- aqnb, April 2016: No Human is a Data Island [EN]
- NZZ, April 2016: Sind wir Herr der Maschinen, oder ist es umgekehrt? (Are we Masters of the machines, or is it the other way around?) [DE]
- Betterplace Lab, April 2016: Sind wir Teil eines nervösen Systems? (Are We Part of a Nervous System?) [DE]
- Art Berlin, April 2016: Top Exhibitions April 2016: Nervous Systems - Quantified Life and the Social Question [EN]
- Der Tagesspiegel, March 2016: Data Detox [DE]
- Deutschlandfunk - Corso, March 2016: Der Mensch verfängt sich im Datennetzwerk (Human beings caught in the data network) [DE]
- exBerliner, March 2016: Nervous Systems: Big issues with big data [EN]
- Dars Magazine, March 2016: Nervous Systems - Vita quantificata e questione sociale (Nervous Systems - Quantified Life and the Social Question) [IT]
- Zitty Berlin, March 2016: Nervöse Systeme - Das Haus der Kulturen der Welt stellt Projekte zu Datenströmen und Kontrollverlust aus; “Empfehlung fürs Wochenende” (Recommendation for the weekend) [DE]
- SWR2 - Kulturthema, March 2016: Nervöse Systeme - Quantifiziertes Leben und die soziale Frage [radio + article] [DE]
- iRights, March 2016: Nervöse Systeme – Was Algorithmen für unseren Alltag bedeuten (Nervous Systems - what algorithms mean for our everyday lives) [DE]
- Wired - Germany, March 2016: Peeple und die Angst um unsere digitale Identität (Peeple and the anxiety around our digital identity) [DE]
- Tip Berlin, March 2016: Technologie ist nie neutral (Technology is never neutral) [DE]
- Der Tagesspiegel, March 2016: Traume sind nicht dechiffrierbar (Dreams are not decryptable) [DE]
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 2016: Verhalten Sie sich ganz normal! (Just behave normally!) [DE]
- Donau Kurier Berlin, March 2016: Verstecken hilft nicht (hiding doesn’t help) [DE]
- Deutschlandradio Kultur - Kompressor, March 2016: Warum Big Mama zum Fürchten ist (Why we should fear “Big Mama”) [DE]
- Deutsche Welle, March 2016: „Nerwowe systemy”. Życie pod nadzorem (“Nervous systems”. Life under surveillance)