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Unfinished Live's Interactive Art Exhibit at The Shed Will Immerse Visitors in a World Where They Own and Control Their Digital Data, Highlighting the Need for Ethical Digital Technology
[September 14, 2021]

Unfinished Live's Interactive Art Exhibit at The Shed Will Immerse Visitors in a World Where They Own and Control Their Digital Data, Highlighting the Need for Ethical Digital Technology

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- "A Project Liberty Experience"—a provocative, interactive art exhibit prompting visitors to envision a world where they own and control their own data—will open September 23rd as part of Unfinished Live at The Shed. The installation includes work by acclaimed media artist and director Refik Anadol, a pioneer of the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence. The art exhibit is free and open to the public and runs through September 25th. Unfinished Live will bring together influential tech, impact and cultural leaders focused on exploring the future of digital technology and accelerating solutions for a more ethical and equitable internet.

"For all of technology's benefits, the current tech structure lacks a conscience, and that's creating and exacerbating major problems," said civic entrepreneur Frank McCourt, who founded Project Liberty, a visionary initiative aimed at transforming how the internet works and who benefits from the digital economy. "Users of today's technology platforms do not own, control or derive value from their personal data—and this should concern all of us. A Project Liberty Experience is designed to encourage people to reflect deeply upon this dynamic and better understand its damaging consequences. We hope the experience motivates people to join us in imagining and creating a world where personal data is back in the hands of individuals, where it belongs, and to reclaim technology for the common good."

Anadol's contribution to A Project Liberty Experience includes an immersive work titled "Machine Hallucination," which is composed of more than 100 million publicly available images of New York City's architecture, cityscapes and landscapes that were processed in over a thousand latent dimensions. The work creates an entirely new audio-visual experience that explores how the use and monetization of personal data in the digital age is changing the way we tell stories in public spaces.

"Art can be a powerful tool for social change," said Anadol. "I am thrilled to be part of creating a groundbreaking exhibit that allows visitors to personally connect with the idea that their data is beautiful, valuable, empowering and—most importantly—theirs. I hope this work spurs people to reflect on how their data is being used and recognize they should have a choice in the matter."

The exhibit will be housed in The Shed's McCourt space, a 17,000-square-foot light-, sound- and temperature-controlled hall. The installation includes an interactive component, where visitor responses to the central prompt ("If I owned and controlled my own data, the world would be…") are incorporated into the experience itself. The installation will also feature a segment that gives visitors the ability to "touch and feel" the difference between the current, closed-off world of data ownership by private companies and the liberated world of data ownership by the people.

"The Shed welcomes innovative art and ideas, exemplified by Unfinished Live and its Project Liberty Experience," said Alex Poots, The Shed's Artistic Director and CEO. "We're excited to host Unfinished Live and to help make this engaging work available free to the public."

A Project Liberty Experience is free and open to the public. Interested parties can also purchase tickets online to access the full Unfinished Live in-person event or watch virtual programming for free. The full itinerary and registration details for Unfinished Live are available on the event's website.

Details about The Shed's COVID-19 vaccination and mask policies are available here.

Stephanie Walstrom

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