Joana Moll

Artist

Joana Moll (ES)
My work critically explores the complex network of material and immaterial agents that come together to configure the Internet, from submarine and underground cables to interfaces, to surveillance, social profiling and privacy along with their environmental implications. My investigations strongly focuses on uncovering and analyzing the ambiguous relationship between networks, data, politics, economics, power and nature in the age of algorithmic governance. To achieve this purpose, I’m constantly developing and testing several experimental methodologies and critical pedagogical strategies to deeply analyze and deconstruct the physical pathways of information and the way governmental agencies and corporations take over networks and algorithms in order to surveil, profile, control and exploit millions of citizens on a daily basis along with the hidden environmental impacts of such complex processes.
The Hidden Life of an Amazon User
  • © Joana Moll
  • © Joana Moll
  • Installation at IMPAKT

“The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success of Jeff Bezos” was purchased at Amazon on June 17, 2019. In order to purchase the book, Amazon forced the customer to go through 12 different interfaces made of large amounts of code. Overall, we were able to track 1307 different requests to all sorts of scripts which equaled 8724 pages of printed code and 87.33Mb of data. Amazon’s business model is based on “obsessive costumer focus,” which entails the continuous tracking of customer behavior in order to amplify the monetization of the user. Thus, the 87.33Mb of code responsible for tracking user activity that were involuntarily loaded by the customer through the browser, relentlessly put Amazon’s core money-making strategy to work. Moreover, all the energy needed to load all this data was effectively unloaded upon the customer, who ultimately assumed not just part of the economic costs of Amazon’s monetization processes, but also a portion of its environmental footprint. The piece narrates the journey of the customer within the labyrinth of interfaces and code that allowed them to buy Jeff Bezos’s book, while also revealing the rising energy costs that were unwittingly paid for by the Amazon customer.

Shown at:

The Sound of One Computer Thinking - IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture - 30 Oct-22 Dec 2019

Reviewed in:

"Amazon: Der Code hinter einer Amazon-bestellung", Der Spiegel, 20 November 2019 (in German)

"Op Impakt kun je luisteren naar het giechelen van een rat", NRC, 1 November 2019
(in Dutch, a translation can be found via this link)

EMAP/EMARE grants of Joana Moll

Impakt (2019)