How can communities become resilient to structures of state surveillance and data extractivism, in which large tech corporations extract vast amounts of personal data?

Made to Measure is an exploration of citizen resilience in an age of the surveillance economy and data extractivism. In it, Heather Griffin proposes a near-future city setting where tech corporations are taking over administrative roles in smart cities and digital surveillance is normalised in our everyday lives. This speculative project is developed following a seven-month research programme Fluid Rhythms, of Open Set, which explored social, ecological, biological and infrastructural rhythms,s, in the context of the Bijlmer in Amsterdam Zuidoost. When the Bijlmer was first conceived, it was coined the ‘City of the Future’, a modernist utopian vision, however that utopia never came to pass, sharing the same fate as many other modernist post-war housing schemes becoming synonymous with crime and poverty. The Bijlmer has since gone through a series of iterations, from demolition to rebuilding and regeneration schemes. Yet the dominant narrative is one of ghettoisation and failed urban planning. New signs of gentrification and surveillance are creeping in, an unwelcome scenario that will further disenfranchise the local community. The experiences in the Bijlmer are represented in a wide number of communities throughout the world exacerbated by the emergence of smart cities and techno-utopian visions of public spaces.  Over the course of seven months, Heather Griffin was introduced to a number of local institutions and investigated the role they have in shaping and supporting the community of the Biljmer and their strategies in counteracting the dominant narratives. Institutions such as CBK Zuidoost, the multicultural centre Ala Kondre, the educational centre No Limits, Youth worker Marcello Dello Stretto, Henno Eggenkamp from the Bijlmer Museum and Jessica de Abreu and Mitchell Esajas from The Black Archives. She also interacted with multidisciplinary artists, designers, architects, researchers, scientists and musicians, discussing their methodologies and participatory approaches of their practice within a social context. Embarking on a series of rhythm workshops addressing the micro and macro assemblages of human and non-human biological and physiological rhythms present in the territory of the Biljmer. She applied this learning to carry out sensory rhythm analytical explorations of everyday life and the human experience in the Biljmer.  Through this interrogation of the Biljmer, Griffin uncovered structural inequalities in these disenfranchised communities reinforced by technology corporations and the surveillance economy the premise of the ongoing exploration within this project.