Dr. Big Data

2018, Microscope, Used products

Tsing Hua University, Beijing


As mobile phones and wearable devices are developing, every change in our behavior, location and even the physical information of our body can be recorded and analyzed.


In the era of big data, the garbage we left became an observable object for data analysis. I use a microscope to magnify the structures of used products in 40 diameters. Subsequently, I put into them into infusion bags respectively, then exhaust the air and seal the bags. The infusion bags serve as a metaphor for the loop of the consumption process in the era of big data. 

I try to use this way to simulate that merchants collect our consumption records and personal information, calculate and analyze our purchase behavior and preferences, customize specific purchasing plans for us, exploit these data and achieve the re-commodification to sell the product with “only for you” labels to consumers. Due to the transparency of information, our interpersonal information is unconditionally displayed in front of merchants. Our every day searching and purchasing records create hidden business opportunities for merchants. Consumers seem to choose products independently, but actually our data is easily controlled by merchants.

© 2020 by Yan Li. 

Dr. Big Data 1