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In 2009 I adopted the universal product code (UPC-A) '0-22099-70898-8' as the signifier of the digital Robert John Taylor. Conceptually this digital self is the collection of all electronic information related to Robert John Taylor, both Personally Identifiable Information or PII and Non PII, networked into one cohesive whole. It is a conclusion of the accretion of information that is now underway. I called the conceptual work of art 'Horizontal Integration'


Replacing a name with a number might seem like becoming anonymous. Numbers are often used to anonymize people, this is literally true in that they do make one nameless. But numbers do not remove identity, in fact, numbers distinguish identity. As identifiers names are messy. They vary in length, spelling, and punctuation. And most significantly they are not distinct (a recent Google search for Robert John Taylor produced more than 280 million hits.) However, a number like an UPC has a fixed format, built in error detection, and is by design unique.


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