msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush
of confidential and privileged information
msdm + GBH
6 volumes of electronic matter from defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica
Vol 1 Bolton, Vol 2 Brazil, Vol 3 Ghana, Vol 4 Iran, Vol 5 Kenya, Vol 6 Malaysa
and 1 photozine of selected infographics
Monochrome laser printing on 80 gsm paper
Perfect binding with exposed thread and deconstructed soft cover
21 x 29.7 cm each
‘O.C.E.A.N. LIBRARY of confidential and privileged information’, ongoing documentary piece, consists of 6 volumes of electronic matter from defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica. The files, that were leaked in separate folders have been printed and bound following the same organisation: Vol 1 Bolton, Vol 2 Brazil, Vol 3 Ghana, Vol 4 Iran, Vol 5 Kenya and Vol 6 Malaysia.
Presented on a bespoke table, the books are bound with a variant of ‘perfect binding’ - exposed threads and deconstructed soft cover - to enhance the tactile experience of these documents that would otherwise be accessed on screen only, as digital files.
The cover for each book is a specially designed wrapper with the message
‘This email is confidential and may be privileged’ found on the company’s email communications.
The endpapers are Cinderella narrative schematic structure used by Cambridge Analytica on their corporate presentations.
The photozine is curated selection of infographics related to Cambridge Analytica use of psychographic data to create ads targeting people based on their personalities. This psychographic profiling matches political campaigning to 5 personality types: “open” (O), “conscientious” (C), “extroverted” (E), “agreeable” (A), or “neurotic” (N).
O.C.E.A.N. LIBRARY of confidential and privileged information’ is an attempt to provide a printed collection of Cambridge Analytica electronic files. Brittany Kaiser initiated the leak on the twitter account @HindsightFiles on New Year’s Day 2020. The internal documents and emails relate to a crucial period from 2015 to 2018, when the firm misused Facebook data to manipulate voters on the UK Brexit referendum and the 2016 US election. The folders also reveal the data firm’s influence on other countries political systems, including Iran, Malaysia, Ghana, Brazil and Kenya. The work also explores the tension inherent to Brittany Kaiser’s role as Cambridge Analytica business development director for three-and-a-half years before leaving in 2018 and her self-proclaimed whistle blower status, making these documents available to public scrutiny.