I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we are presently grappling with existential questions posed by big data and at the same time, considering the social implications of rulings by the supreme court in both Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. In fact, I believe we have an unprecedented mandate at this point in history to more rigorously consider the distinction between human beings their inventions. The nature of existence itself is changing as we atomize experience into data that is bought and sold as a new commodity. At the same time, many of us in the United States are concerned about the precedents set when corporate entities appear to be endowed with the same rights as living beings. A corporation is a tool. Technology is a tool. But whether us makers are using these tools or they are using us is a question yet to be answered. And examination includes choices about personal privacy and the economic value of ourselves as expressed in a body of data.
In this podcast, I talk with Jennifer Lyn Morone, who is in the start-up phase of bringing to market Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Incorporated. An American artist who has lived in Europe for more than a decade, Morone has chosen to address these social, economic, and existential questions with a venture that is part experiment, part cultural statement, and part business. By incorporating herself, Jennifer Lyn Morone will now be the CEO of Jennifer Lyn Morone, Inc., and that means literally treating her life, her experiences, her knowledge, even her biological data, as a set of assets to be fully managed and monetized at the discretion of the corporation. This Fall, Morone will begin using a combination of cameras and data recording technology to track her activities and store information on servers controlled by the corporation. I think this is not going to be just another example of web-enabled voyeurism. Morone is serious about the business venture, and she’s eager to share what she learns as she explores the dual nature of being both a person and a corporation.
© 2014, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.