The Hidden Life of an Amazon User (2019)

Joana Moll

© Joana Moll
© Joana Moll
Installation at IMPAKT

Joana Moll’s browser-based installation confronts us with the environmental footprint of buying a book on amazon.com. It sheds light on Amazon’s often unacknowledged but aggressive exploitation of their users, which is embedded in the core of the so-called internet companies’ business strategies.

Purchasing the book “The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success of Jeff Bezos” forces the customer to go through 12 different interfaces made of large amounts of code. In all, the artist was able to track 1307 different requests to all sorts of scripts, which equated to 8724 pages of printed code and 87.33 MB of data. Amazon’s business model is based on “obsessive customer focus,” which entails the continuous tracking of customer behaviour to increase business revenues.

Moreover, all the energy needed to load this entire data was effectively unloaded onto the customer, who ultimately assumed not just part of the economic costs of Amazon’s monetisation processes, but also a portion of its environmental footprint.

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)

Genre
netartorInternet based
Methods
dataVisualisation
Media And Communication
bigdata
commerce
Power And Politics
market
authority
surveillance
Society And Culture
consumption
digitalidentity
capitalism
informationsociety
Technology And Innovation
consumption
digitalidentity
capitalism
informationsociety
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