In collaboration with Tactical Tech, Joana Moll set up an online “auction” that unveils the hidden economic exchange of the online dating industry. Made with 1 million online dating profiles purchased by the artist for 136 € from USDate, a company that trades in dating profiles gathered from all over the globe, her project The Dating Broker visualises the digital labour and commodification model deeply embedded in our networked society. For each auction, hundreds of profiles that share certain physical characteristics and personal traits are displayed together and offered for a fictional purchase. Each round of auction visualises the amount and granularity of data collected and traded, grouping datasets of profiles by gender, education, eye color, sexual orientation, country etc. The thumbnail pictures that fill up the background wall offer a glimpse into the modalities of self-presentation of users on dating websites. These images become the currency of the dating marketplace, not only on the level of representation – where self-portraits compete for romantic attention – but also as valuable data sets. The Dating Brokers is a microcosm of today’s digital economy, where the seemingly harmless, voluntary participation in uploading private information is capitalised and its users are secretly exploited.
Access The Dating Brokers online here: datadating.tacticaltech.org
More by Joana Moll: janavirgin.com