Strings: Data and the Self

Experience how the digital age has affected and recorded our lives.

January 19, 2018 to April 15, 2018

 Curated by Joel Kuennen & Riccardo Zagorodnev

Opening Reception January 19

6PM - 8PM

 West Coast premiere of New Media Artists that challenge our traditional notions about art making and subject matter.

Strings explores the manner in which data increasingly determines our behavior, our interactions and our overall relationship to the Self through an essayistic approach to curation. 

Our lives are increasingly defined by data.

From the echo chamber of our Facebook feeds to the flash trading of commodities on our stock markets, data, its collection and its application has come to influence our daily lives like no other force. This exhibition seeks to offer a critique of how data is collected and ultimately how it mediates who we are.

Strings seeks to make evident the transformation of the self through its dialectical relationship with data collection, monetization and replication.

The desire to taxonomize and mobilize our subjectivity through data has produced a tendency capable of simultaneously synthesizing value and obscuring it. The need to locate the self within a sea of interdependent systems is urgent but evasive. The prospect of replicating ourselves in these systems is becoming reality. Virtual and fake have become real.

This exhibition approaches the relationship of data to our daily lives through three questions:

How is data extracted?

The work of Branger_Briz (Probe Kit, 2015) exposes the points at which we become data to be exported and extrapolated by companies, organizations and governments, ultimately presenting the viewer with their own lack of choice when participating in a digital world. 


Branger_Briz in collaboration with Brannon Dorsey debuted Probe Kit at the eMerge Americas Conference, as an activist “artware” installation aimed at illustrating how simple it is to collect personal network data and how much can be inferred from that data. Sarcastically pitched as an “amateur data collector kit”, Probe Kit turns your wifi card into a “net” that catches the fluttering probe requests (data packets) emitted from the wireless devices of the people around you.

Probe Kit debuted at the eMerge Americas Conference in Miami Beach and will be included at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in Fukuoka, Japan. A computer with a 9 dbi omni WiFi antenna collects probes from devices in the area while simultaneously spawning a butterfly per device in a projected “habitat”. This installation view displays all the butterflies (devices) in a 3D space and scans for new devices and details their network list, map and related metadata

What can become of your data?

Heather Dewey-Hagborg (Stranger Visions, 2012-2013) uses genetic data to discover identities from the traces of our lives. The apparent lack of genetic privacy forces a reconsideration of the boundaries of self within a culture rapidly developing cheap, mass-produced genetic technologies.

How is emotional intelligence affected by data?

Jennifer Chan (Austerity, 2016) uses found footage to create heartfelt works about vulnerability that recenter the self as a series of performances in accordance with imagined ideals. An exuberant longing saturates her video works.  


Amanda Turner Pohan’s (The Living Body Archive of Linqox Criss, 2016) work provides a quantified approach to highly subjective experiences relegated to the realms of romance and intimacy. Her compounds exemplify an approach to data accumulation and abstraction that renders the mechanics of meaning mercilessly visible

Rated R:  For Mature Audiences Only