Children and data

In 1939, sculptor Isamu Noguchi made the first baby monitor commissioned in response to a high-profile kidnapping for which a Glasgow nanny, Betty Gow, was wrongly accused. Tapping into parents’ fears and desires to keep their children safe, surveillance was justified under the guise of care. And yet unwittingly it opened a door for new vulnerabilities.

This project documents a fictional guerrilla singing group that are hacking into baby monitors to warn newborns of the dangers of contemporary surveillance. Riffing off the historical use of lullabies as a coded medium, these lullabies warn of the importance of privacy and how cute photos innocently shared online give fuel to private companies that rely on scraping data from social media to build tools for law enforcement, deportation and immigration, and oppression.

This project consists of:

  • A radio programme
  • A series of lullabies
  • A small accompanying publication with a series of essays
  • An installation

Listen to the three lullabies below: