Owen Mundy

Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Studies at Davidson College

Owen Mundy is an artist, designer, and programmer. His research investigates public space, information privacy, and big data. Recent work includes mobile and web-based apps and visualizations like illuminus.io, a research-based personality and risk analysis tool which appears in the Peabody-awarded web documentary Do Not Track; the online viral big data visualization, I Know Where Your Cat Lives, which maps seven million images tagged with #cat using the locations in the metadata users unknowingly uploaded to social media; and Give Me My Data, a tool that helps users export their data back out of Facebook. Mundy’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time Magazine, NPR, and Wired Magazine and exhibited in multiple museums and galleries in New York, Berlin, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, and Mexico City. He has received numerous artist fellowships, a DAAD Arts Study Scholarship, and a Fulbright Fellowship.

Talk Description:

Tally: Gamifying Your Personal Data
(Speaking with Joelle Dietrick)

This talk will discuss details of the production of Tally, a browser extension that gamifies the systems that monetize data about your online activity. It does this by co-opting the tools of advertising and social media, and industry methods of data collection and market segmentation. The extension then layers playful references to a user’s data trail through visuals like “product monsters” and leaderboards ranking how well users score in actual advertising marketing categories. The result is an ongoing competitive multi-player experience that is fun, empowering, and educates the public about the problem of surveillance-based advertising. Tally will be launched in spring 2018, co-produced by Sneakaway Studio and a class called Humanities Startup at Davidson College. A beta of the game can be viewed here

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