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Data: the New Black Gold

Part 2 Project 2019
Ibiye Camp
Royal College of Art | UK
Data: the New Black Gold examines the data economy of West Africa. Tracing the history of oil production in Nigeria and the complex relationship between exploitation, wealth and environment, this project explores Lagos’ current digital boom.

It compares the digital sector physically and symbolically to the oil sector.

The two stories of privatisation, unchecked power, crude oil spills and data leaks develops into a design for how citizens could take control of their own data.

Using data from devices situated around Lagos, an imperfect digital city is built, that opposes western architectural ideals of modelling.

The film Data: the New Black Gold shows the imperfect city and explores the bias and conflicts of digital and technological infrastructures in West Africa. The data is collected with informal mobile tools which I have called Area Snap. The Area Snap devices collect data at three view points;

1. Ground view - Luk-grnod-man omolanke (meaning detective wheelbarrow in Krio)
2. Eye view - Waka turnturn (meaning walking and spinning in Krio)
3. Bird-eye view - Airforce 1 (meaning flying witch in Nigerian-pidgin).

The glitches and voids illustrates the tension of technology with citizens in contrasting territories.

Ibiye Camp

Dr. Marina Otero Verzier
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