Through the run of the exhibition We Never Sleep, Gabriel Lester and Jonas Lund realize with The Fly on the Wall (2020) an intervention on the Schirn Kunsthalle Website. They address the information asymmetry between Big tech and individuals by exploring the inner mechanisms of vast datasets, targeted advertising schemes, the modeling of demographics and custom audiences.
The Bug on the Ground
Top Secret. Classified sensitive information. We have a new source on the ground. Embedded, undercover and portable. Eyes and ears. What started out as a fly on the wall became a bug on the floor. Welcome to a sealed reality that only comes to actual reality when observed. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Can something exist without being perceived by consciousness? We are tackling the problem. We are on it. Infiltrating it, blending in with the setting, as it were. Have you heard the secret services are now equipping insects with cameras and radio devices? Be careful what you squash! Fortunately, we are right up there with them. The race to empty space. Access restricted. Access restricted. Our intelligence program rolled out, literally sucking it all up. We’ll return your freedom, as you can roam where nobody can. Do take a ride on our surveillance agent and get your covert juices flowing.
In view of the pandemic, current lockdown and closing down of the show We Never Sleep, curator of the exhibition Cristina Ricupero asked artists Jonas Lund and Gabriel Lester to further develop their viral interventions on Schirn Kunsthalle’s website with a special project they named The Bug on the Ground.