To Abolish Big Data means to dismantle the structures that concentrate the power of data into the hands a few, and to put it in the hands of those who need it the most.
In this video, Founder & Executive Director of Data for Black Lives, Yeshimabeit Milner delivers her signature keynote Abolish Big Data as a performative lecture and sermon at Het HEM, a contemporary arts institution in Zaandam, Netherlands that until 2014 was a secret munitions factory sanctioned by the Dutch government. The bullets and ammunition made there were shipped all over the world.
This version of Abolish Big Data commemorates the colonial history of big data, and the necessity of speaking life as modern big data systems extend the legacy of chattel slavery. Yeshimabeit's powerful and poetic words are set in the installation Retaining the Energy, but Losing the Image, activating 10 rotating reflectors that emit sound and light. In this sermon, the call to action is to speak life into a system that demands death, human bodies as its tribute.
Special thanks to Het HEM, Nicolas Jaar and Vincent de Belleval.