Photos from the Story-re-telling exhibition at the National Audiovisual Institute (NInA), Warsaw, Poland (September 25–October 18, 2015) curated by Anna Desponds.
“I know where your cat lives” proclaims artist and programmer Owen Mundy. And indeed – the website created by him can not only recognize pictures of cats from the web, but also precisely pinpoint where they were uploaded.
Cats, which had heretofore led a sheltered life, have recently become Internet mascots. They have entered the public sphere – much in the same way as information about Internet users. This seemingly innocent, funny and simple project in which we watch a map with thousands of photos of cats, moving in a matter of seconds from Bangkok to Rome, is in fact a commentary on the all-knowing web and the often unquestioning satisfaction with which we relinquish our privacy. After all, it’s easy to imagine a similar app for pictures of children instead of cats.
This is not the first one of Mundy’s projects to deal with the topic of the safety of data on the web. He has also created the app Give Me My Data which allows users to reclaim their own information from Facebook and use it for further analyses or visualizations.
Unlike Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg, who claims that privacy is dead, Mundy thinks that it is evolving. Many people didn’t want to show their cats on the webpage – browsing the site you can see which pictures have been removed by users. On the other hand though, many people supposedly reached out to Mundy to ask how they could add their cat to the map.
I know where your cat lives
Author: Owen Mundy
Team: Owen Mundy, Nicole Kurish, Tim Schwartz, Alissa McShane, Shana Berger
Photos: Malwina Toczek/NInA