Tally Saves the Internet
Tally Saves the Internet
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Tally Saves the Internet is a browser extension in development that gamifies your online activity by appropriating industry methods of data collection and market segmentation. Once installed, a friendly pink blob named Tally lives in the corner of your screen and warns you when companies translate your human experiences into free behavioral data. When Tally encounters “product monsters” (online trackers and their corresponding product marketing categories) you can capture them in a turn-based battle (e.g. “pokemon style”) transforming the game into a progressive tracker blocker, where you earn the right to be let alone through this playful experience.
Tally doesn’t only comment on the issue, the game encourages play through a real-world reward—when a player captures a product monster, they actually block that tracker from collecting their data. The more that players engage with the game, the more trackers they block, so the rewards from playing are twofold: As a functional tracker blocker, Tally provides a utility that frees us from algorithmic surveillance and control. And as a cultural work, Tally invites thoughtful dialog about data tracking, encouraging digital makers to consider more ethical systems going forward.
Tally was recently awarded a grant from UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and has been shortlisted as a finalist for LACMA’s Art + Tech Program, a 2019 Mozilla Foundation Creative Media Award and a 2019 IDFA DocLab grant.
Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy (Sneakaway Studio) build online interventions, animations and mobile apps to reimagine a more sustainable and equitable digital future. Concerned about the unintended consequences of automated systems, their creations break apart and reconfigure existing structures to build awareness of physical and digital infrastructure.
Dietrick and Mundy have produced new works for exhibitions and public art commissions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Art Center Nabi in Seoul, Transitio_MX in Mexico City, TINA B Festival in Prague and Venice, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, MCA San Diego, Long March Space Beijing, ARC Gallery Chicago, Soho20 New York, the University of Florida and the University of Texas, among others. They’ve received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina State University’s Immersive Scholar Foundation, UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
Both at Davidson College in North Carolina, Dietrick is an Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Studies and Mundy is Associate Professor of Practice in Digital Studies.