Research department

Presented as large-format wallpaper installation » The Research Department of Technologies To The People devotes itself to statistically recording and presenting core areas of contemporary life. In regard to levels of technology ownership in the USA, the department tells us that 77.3 % of the population possesses a microwave, but only (only?) 55 % a supermarket price scanner. Another statistic reveals that Washington and California are the federal states in which UFOs are most frequently spotted (New York trails far behind at the other end of the scale). We are also given percentages for the distribution of religions over the continents, beverage consumption in selected countries, the frequency with which types of passwords are cracked, the primary online activities of women, and the distribution of employment in the USA (with data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor). In the exhibition the statistics are presented as large-format printouts covering the walls of the room dedicated to irational’s Collecting data all over the net project. The collection of all kinds of data (via surveys, for instance, or loyalty cards) combined with the personalization facilitated by increasing linkage with databases has now become a powerful tool for consumer control. With its own requests for sensitive or wholly irrelevant information, irational began from an early date to confront the increasingly apparent mania for collecting data. (Inke Arns)

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