Strings: Data and the Self

January 19 to April 15, 2018

Curated by Joel Kuennen & Riccardo Zagorodnev

Opening Reception

 January 19, 2018

6PM - 8PM  

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stranger Visions, 2012-2013 Found Genetic Materials, Custom Software, 3D prints

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stranger Visions, 2012-2013 Found Genetic Materials, Custom Software, 3D prints

CMATO 1 logo.jpg

CMATO's goal is to introduce the community to prominent contemporary artists working in diverse mediums.

Strings: Data and the Self, is the West Coast premiere exhibition of groundbreaking new media artists that challenge “traditional” notions of art making.

The artists in the exhibition are known in Paris, London, Chicago and Singapore but are not usually seen in this beautiful hamlet of Thousand Oaks. We have curators Joel Kuennen and Riccardo Zagorodnev to thank for bringing these gifted artists to CMATO. 

 Kuennen and Zagorodnev, both alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, have curated an interesting journey through the new media landscape. They unite the artists by examining the pervasiveness of big data and how it influences our identity.  

It’s a queasy awaking to experience the art in this exhibition.  The work presented is challenging,  sophisticated and provides  a perfect place to reflect and discuss on how data mediates who we are. 

We are extremely grateful to our Board of Directors, CMATO Council, Len and Judy Linton, Shawn McCabe and Richard and Joyce Johnson for providing the means for this exceptional exhibition. Special thanks to the City of Thousand Oaks for providing a place for people to gather and experience art together. Thanks to art patrons Larry Janss and Shawn and Letal Skelton, for their steadfast support of visual culture in the Conejo Valley region

---Tish Greenwood, Executive Director


Strings explores the manner in which data increasingly determines our behavior, our interactions and our overall relationship to the Self. 

Data as Trace, Data as Tag

Curatorial Introduction by Joel Kuennen & Riccardo Zagorodnev

There is currently a case before the Supreme Court, Carpenter v. United States, that is deciding both ownership of one’s data as collected by a third party your service provider and the governments right to access that information without a warrant.

What is New Media Art?

New media art has come to describe an open-ended genre of artistic practice that utilizes newly developed media technology to produce works of art. Media is a key term here in that it implies that technology is not exterior to human experience, but is used as a tool for human communication and connection.

This genre of work includes, among others, digital art, net art, videogame art and bio art, representations of each of these subcategories are included in this exhibition on how data mediates our experience of ourselves.

Jennifer Chan, Austerity, 2015

Jennifer Chan, Austerity, 2015


Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. Her controversial biopolitical art practice includes the project Stranger Visions in which she created portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material (hair, cigarette butts, chewed up gum) collected in public places. Heather has shown work internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, the Centre Pompidou and PS1MOMA. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to TED and Wired.  She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2016 Creative Capital award grantee in the area of Emerging Fields. 

Branger_Briz, Probe Kit, 2015

Branger_Briz, Probe Kit, 2015

  Branger_Briz is a full service digital agency and lab made up of artists, strategists, educators and programmers bent on articulating contemporary culture.  Based in Miami FL, Chicago IL, and Cali, Colombia, they create work that provides context and perspective on the misunderstood aspects of the digital landscape.

Brannon Dorsey is an artist, programmer, and researcher who uses technology and reproducible electronic media to navigate difficult terrain. He employs open software tools to create experiences that excite and empower individuals and collaborative communities rather than create passive users/consumers. Brannon's work encourages a digital literacy that celebrates the truly profound technological era that we now live while remaining skeptical of the ways that this technology is being used on and against us.

Nick Briz is a new media artist, educator, and organizer living and working in Chicago, IL.  He is critically obsessed with the Internet and focuses his work on digital culture— digital literacy and ecology, netizen rights, glitch art, net art, and remix.  He organizes events on these topics (GLI.TC/H, NO-MEDIA), teaches (SAIC, Marwen, www), and produces work independently and commercially with Branger_Briz. Nick’s work has been shown internationally at FILE Media Arts Festival, the Images Festival, the Museum of Moving Image, the Tate, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.  He has been featured in on/off-line publications around the world (VICE,, Fast Company, and El Mundo.  His work is distributed through Video Out Distribution as well as openly and freely on the web. 


Read Banger_Briz's post about the Data Safari held at CMATO



Amanda Turner Pohan, Linqox Criss on Machines, Living and Otherwise,  2018

Amanda Turner Pohan, Linqox Criss on Machines, Living and Otherwise,  2018

Amanda Turner Pohan received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts and an MFA from Hunter College. Pohan is currently working on The Linqox Criss Cycle, a five-part series of installations detailing the journey of Second Lifeavatar Linqox Criss as she slips between digital and physical embodiment. Each iteration manifests as scent, sculpture, sound, text, video and performance within a immersive environment. Through this project, Pohan asks, who is the avatar, where does her body begin and end, how does she thrive, what does she smell like.  

In addition to this work, Pohan is founder of TWOFORTY, a loft apartment project space and publishing house in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Jennifer Chan is a Canadian video and media artist and curator based in Toronto. Her work addresses internet pop culture, specifically the representation of masculinity and the various constructions of femininity under the male gaze. Chan co-organized the online exhibition Body Anxiety with Leah Schrager, featuring underrepresented artists to challenge the male-dominated internet art space. She has held solo exhibitions in numerous countries, including Young Money at Future Gallery (Berlin), I’ll Show You HD at transmediale (Berlin), Sea of Men at Galleri CC (Malmo), and New Alpha at ohmydays (Singapore). In 2013 she contributed a sequence to The One Minutes(commissioned by the Sandberg Institute) as part of Ways of Something,a net artists’ remake of John Berger’s Ways Of Seeing compiled by Lorna Mills. The video has screened at ICA London, Fabrica UK, MenShing Museum (Beijing), Wooloomooloo (Taipei), and SongEun Art Space (South Korea), and later collected by the Whitney Museum.


Shawné Michaelain Holloway  is a Chicago based new media artist using sound, video, and performance to shape the rhetorics of technology and sexuality into tools for exposing structures of power. She has spoken and exhibited work internationally in spaces like The New Museum (New York, NY), Sorbus Galleria (Helsinki, Fi), on NTS Radio (London, UK) and was one of the 2017 residents at The Center for Afrofuturist Studies (Iowa City, IA.) She teaches in the New Arts Journalism department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Exhibition is Rated R  

Recommended for Mature Audiences