This story appears in Phoebe Journal, issue 51.1. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Alma García’s short fiction has appeared as an award-winner in Narrative Magazine, Enizagam, Passages North, and Boulevard; has most recently appeared in phoebe journal, Kweli Journal, Duende, and Bluestem; and appears in anthologies including Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century (Cutthroat Journal of the Arts). She is a past recipient of a fellowship from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. Her first novel, Here and Over There, is forthcoming from Camino del Sol (University of Arizona Press) in 2023. Originally from west Texas and northern New Mexico, she lives with her husband and son in Seattle, where she teaches fiction writing at the Hugo House and is a manuscript consultant.
This data was collected through a Google Home mini between May 20 and June 20, 2021. The data was downloaded from the Google My Activity platform and came in a json format. It was then cleaned to keep only voice commands and their corresponding timestamps, which yielded 95 data points. Other types of data that were not included were notifications, location information, names of audio files, and the assistant's answer, among others.
For this story, we invited the writer to highlight the ways data move and travel, particularly to, from and within a home. Whenever data move about, settle in an archive or rest in a database, adventures await and involve human lives and world. We shared with the writer images from Data Centers to show the materiality of some of the infrastructure supporting smart devices' data.
This Google Home voice data was used by the author to write this story. Data was collected from May 20th to June 20th 2021.