there is no incognito tab.

Sohee Cho
Sohee Cho
// designer in digital humanities
// creative coder
// perpetual schemer
Thesis Faculty
Richard The
Anna Harsanyi
John Sharp
Barbara Morris

there is no incognito tab. is a collection of visual poems that chronicle my digital footprints. Diaristic in nature, the book explores my relationship with the power structures that perpetuate the cycle of digital surveillance in this age of data economy. The core questions I examine center around the loss and flattening of my digital identity as the result of algorithmic scattering of myself as multitudes of data points created and captured by corporate and governmental institutions.

By delving into the personal data exhaust created by a diverse array of systems and algorithms, I am trying to understand what gets stripped away and speculate on a series of exercises to undo the scattering and rehumanize the practice of datafication. Through that process, I am simultaneously questioning the role of the self as not only the object of such surveillance but also as the complicit participant in creating the surveillance apparatus.

Each page in the book is a visual exercise. Some comment on what it means to be surveilled by government entities and to have displaced ownership of personal data while others contemplate what it means to re-consume personal data that I had no role in creating. Through this series of visual exercises, I am also speculating on the retrieval and removal of inaccessible data that lives deep within the system. I wanted to denote the lack of awareness and sense of criticality that went into the architecture of a massive system in favor of profit-driven capitalistic motives. Ultimately, all of the pages in there is no incognito tab. attempt to restore personal stories that had been erased by the flattening of my experiences and identities into predefined segments set by various public and private sectors.