Dublin-based intellectual property lawyer turned artist, Caroline Campbell explores ‘loitering’ and the ‘theatre of war’ in her film pieces using drones to survey the Irish President’s home, abandoned prisons and army barracks, and both the Facebook and Google offices.
Dublin mirrors San Francisco as home to the International Headquarters of both Google and Facebook, and in producing footage of these premises, Campbell has often tread the line – but has done so carefully, using her law background to ensure that she remains on the safe side of the law.
Campbell explores the darknet, the idea of Google as our only information source (or one single universal library), the movement of US dollars through Dublin via tech companies, Google’s recent purchase of Boston Dynamics, who produced the slightly haunting humanoid robot PetMan and themes from Luc Boltanski’s The New Spirit of Capitalism.
During today’s studio visit with Campbell, drawing on this text she explained the way in which freelancing or flexi-time has replaced office hours (in response to workers’ desire for more free time) and now gives workers the illusion that they have more free time. In reality, we are all ‘on call’ and at the mercy of our employers and large corporations all of the time. In this vein, Campbell suggests that as we spend this free time on Facebook or Google, we are in fact working for them – as they collect data on our buying, following and communication patterns. Really, during this time online, we are building an intangible product for these bodies; as Campbell says Facebook is not “free and always will be.”
Campbell’s Autumn 2015 residency at Delfina sees her explore the data relationship between the UK and Ireland, using subversive strategies to uncover information that usually remains hidden from view.