Music In The Age of Surveillance

Download in the Chrome Store

Made with Ansh Patel

In a post-Snowden world the realities of digital surveillance are exposed, yet the methods of this tracking feels completely disconnected from our online existence. In contrast to the feeling of being followed in real life, digital tracking is a silent stalker. We cannot see the tracker nor do we have a feeling of danger or discomfort, and without direct feedback, we have little incentive to try and stop it.

Music in the Age of Surveillance is a Chrome browser extension which logs tracker cookies placed in the browser when visiting a website. For each page that is browsed, Music in the Age plays a melody based on the number of unique cookies that each web page has. Other parameters such as delay are also proportional to the quantity of cookies.

Music is a powerful medium to convey emotion. Music and sound are also used to very strong ends in film to give emotional cues to viewers. Similarly, a variety of notification sounds often evoke and inform our responses in our digital interactions. Music in the Age aims to use this quality of perception to let users subconsciously know when they’ve “turned down a bad alley”. Unlike a visual cue which can eventually be ignored, this audible cue is much more ambient and can operate subconsciously.