Critical Objects Week 5: The Compraventa Jersey



  • Cara Neel

  • Veronica Alfaro

For this Critical Object’s assignment, we were tasked with building a wearable device using amplification to produce excitement.

The topic we wanted to critique was the idea of data as a currency, and our current willingness to give our data away. In another class, Veronica had downloaded the entire package of data that Facebook had on her, including a section of advertisers that had uploaded a contact list with her information. There were so many advertisers—some of whom Veronica had interacted with, but many who she did not recognize—that we were interested in working with this information.

We were originally inspired by the idea of a “human billboard,” and toyed with the idea of using conductive thread so that the brands/companies would be lit up by LEDs when the vest/sandwich board touched the wearer’s skin, with the caption of “powered by…Veronica.”

However, we decided instead to create a riff off of the athletic jerseys of athletes, particularly Veronica’s home team, the Grecia Fútbol Club, where ads cover their jerseys. Following that structure, we plastered the jersey with the logos of the companies who sold Veronica’s information, and we put her last name on the back of the jersey to mimic that of an athlete’s uniform.

Grecia Fútbol club

Grecia Fútbol club

Finally, we added a QR code to the back (where traditionally an athlete has a number) that, when scanned, linked to all of Veronica’s social profiles, with the tag “Buy or Sell Veronica’s information!” This is where the name “Compraventa Jersey” comes from, as it takes from the Spanish word compraventa, which means “buying or selling.”