After the flood Citizen Ex

Citizen Ex

Visualising your algorithmic citizenship

In Brief


James Bridle

The Problem

James wanted us to help realise his conceptual ideas for the Citizen Ex project

Our Solution

Visualisations and graphic design highlighting the central themes of the show


Impactful and engaging graphic identity for show and data elements

Where are you when you’re online? We worked with artist James Bridle to develop a visual language for his project Citizen Ex, which explores how your IP address, and the accumulation of a browsing history, affect your digital rights.

Citizen Ex was commisioned by The Space and first exhibited at the Southbank Centre during the Web We Want festival.

The project is an exploration of how Internet browsing habits and history can be used to determine a user’s rights via a the idea of Algorithmic Citizenship. Bridle says, ‘Your Algorithmic Citizenship is how you appear to the internet, as a collection of data extending across many nations, with a different citizenship and different rights in every place.’

The artist was developing a browser extension to let people track and visualise their Algorithmic Citizenship; we helped make his ideas visually impactful.

Citizenship Badges

Under the paradigm of Algorithmic Citizenship, the rights of an individual are constantly being recalculated based on their browsing history. We designed a format for a citizenship badge that displays each individual’s current status as a kind of pie chart.

The Extension

The heart of the project is a browser extension that both monitors and reports the user’s citizenship as a reflection of their browsing history. The extension reports their current status via their citizenship badge and also diagrams the geographic location of their current phyisical location relative to the site they are currently browsing. 

The browser extension shows maps the user’s current locations (physical and virtual) based on IP addresses.


Occasionally, the physical location of a website is surprising (e.g. is located in California, not the UK). 

The extension also provides greater detail for each user, allowing them to view their Algorithic Citizenship at different points in time.

The website for the project is the primary source for the browser extension (currently available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox). Additionally, it provides background and context. There is an ever growing set of stories, written by Bridle, dedicated to particular browser extensions and the countries that ‘own’ them. 

Each story covers a particular country with an unusual or popular but non-standard browser extension (e.g. Libya is .ly, the British Indian Ocean Territories are .io, and Syria is .sy). Many of these domain extensons are popular because they allow for interesting word completion (e.g., or act as a kind of inside joke (e.g. .io is short for input/output, a common expression in computer science). 

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