Data Collection Chant for 16 Voices
Posted by <Blake Robbins> on 2022-10-15
Audio installation originally for 4 speakers in quad audio from the bathroom of the Do Not Research group show at lower_cavity gallery in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts in the Spring of 2022
Track should be played on a loop in the bathroom throughout the day on as many speakers as possible
Words sourced from Coincellcord's #data-collection-chat text channel
In the late Winter of 2022, I became a frequent lurker of “Coincellcord", a discord server which was founded and moderated by the now defunct Instagram shitposting franchise “coincellpro”. Upon joining, I quickly discovered that coincellpro's apparent goal was to cultivate the most annoying and unintuitive community imaginable. In addition to abrasive chat bots and bizarre rituals for disruptive trolls, moderators would create and delete channels with alarming frequency, a practice which gradually evolved into a system of “Paradigm Shifting” in which hundreds of text channels would be introduced spontaneously, only to be disappeared and replaced by a new “Paradigm” a month or two later. The channel from the original paradigm which I found the most fascinating was vague even by Coincellcord standards: #data-collection-chat. Slowly at first, users would come to use this channel as a space for larping about being surveilled and surveilling each other until the Feudal Paradigm Shift came and the chat log was lost for good. In a separate chat (also lost of course), Admin 0 (apparently a high level coincellpro admin) admitted they had plans to use a transcript of #data-collection-chat for a spoken word audio project which they planned to submit to the Coincellcord community web zine “Drift Net” (currently on indefinite hiatus). Presumably as a result of numerous TOS violations related to the drunken mental breakdown of a certain nineteen year old power user, Coincellcord would be deleted in the late Summer of 2022. Seeing an opportunity, I took it upon myself to steal Admin 0’s idea. I acquired a transcript of #data-collection-chat then edited it extensively and asked sixteen of my friends to help produce my own version of the audio piece which I then presented as a quadraphonic sound installation in the bathroom of the Do Not Research group show in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts in the Spring of 2022.