An empire and a tower

12 / 2016

Once again the tangible visualisations of La Loma, that create the thematic table “Normal is Boring” were exhibited. Initially they had been shown as part of the exhibition “Nervous Systems” at the HKW in Berlin.

Photo by: Mozilla

This time “Normal is Boring” took place inside The Glass Room, a space created for experimentation and reflection on our online life; presented by Mozilla and Tactical Technology Collective in the gentrified neighbourhood of Soho,New York City (USA).

Like the last time, La Loma collaborated closely with the Tactical Technology Collective in the development updated version of “Google Empire”, now called “Alphabet Empire”. The “Apple Tower” as a new object was added to the group.

The current version of Normal Is Boring comprises a set of five objects which together explore what is happening behind the power of the data.

- The Alphabet Empire (update of Google Empire exhibited at HKW)
- The Fertility Chip
- The Apple Tower
- The Unicorn
- The Zuckerberg House

Alphabet empire
“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” Eric Schmidt

Alphabet Inc. is a merger of several companies, the largest of which is Google, dedicated to the development of products and services related to the Internet. Within the conglomerate of companies there are some specialised on research in areas such as health, robotics and artificial intelligence and the development of software, electronic devices among others. This variety allows Alphabet a broad outreach and independence in their development.

When we talk about Google we should not only think about the famous search engine, but be aware that it is one of the greatest collectors of information in the world. With our interaction, our searches and routines as internet users, “it” learns from our actions, our habits and thoughts to improve the techniques of automatic learning. How much information are we providing without being aware of it and what are they being used for?
Since its founding in 1998, Google (since 2015 Alphabet) has expanded its acquisitions in over 180 companies and invested in another 400, covering and increasingly diversifying the areas of research and development.

The basis of this work is the updated data set of the already implemented project “Google Empire“.
Center of the work is a quote from the alphabet president Eric Smith, which emphasises the notable loss of control over our data. It is framed by the acquisitions and investments that have so far been carried out. Their color indicates the category, the are around each company corresponds to the invested sum in US$.

Apple Tower

By now everyone knows who Apple Inc. is, but many are unaware of its economic background. We might also have heard, that it is one of the most profitable multinational companies in the world, but also the one of those that generates many concerns for tax authorities.

According to the list of Fortune 500 , this year (2016), Apple Inc. ranked third behind Walmart and Exxon Mobil.
The purpose of this infographic is to contrast – and thus highlight – the wealth accumulated by Apple Inc. in its offshore accounts, with the amount of in consequence deferred taxes and what expenses of the United States Government in 2016 could have been covered them.

This time La Loma was supported by Markus Robertson for Apple Tower.