Private Data

Leon Eckert

your private data is up for grabs – it is used to the benefit of cooperations or people you have never heard of – in the case of my projects it is used for art.



The project consists of 3 parts in each of which a different kind of sensitive data is used as a medium for creation.

[part 1]

Our devices are extremely sociable and – when they are not connected to a wifi network – very loud. Then, they constantly shout out the names of their past partners, the networks they have been connected to before, in the hope to reunite:

“I have been connected to Starbucks Wifi, are you anywhere out there? I have also been connected to nyuguest, are you anywhere out there? I have also…”

Not only is that a very private and sensitive kind of information about their user (a list of network names can say a lot about a person), but – in my opionion – it is also a very poetic one.

Air Poems is a program that listens to devices in the surrounding and forms poems using their words in real time – poems 100% extracted from air.

At the show, this would run on a screen and use the show vistor's network names as the medium for poetry.

[part 2]

another screen based project shows live stream of insecure ipCameras from across the world. This might show a street junction in japan or a tennis court in california. Live streams seem real to us, honest, unfiltered information. In my case, the image seen is maniplated in realtim, altering that “reality” and making the people in fron of the cameras create drawing on my screen, without their knowledge. (video to follow soon). There is ways to interact with the video and flick through different drawing algorithms.

[part 3]

the last part is another poetry project I am finalising right now. like with the air poems, the output depends on time (who passes by when) and space. In this case however the space is defined by the physical device the program is executed on. THe program creates a poetic output using the computer's owner's iMessage database as source material. The ouput is intimate yet not revealing, the algorithms processes words and brings them together in enw ways, creating new, fictional narratives that, like that, actually never occured in the message history. This piece would be shown as printouts of poetry created prior to the show as visitors are unlikely to bring their own laptops with them.