Strings: Data and the Self

January 19, 2018 to April 15, 2018 | Created by Joel Kuennen & Riccardo Zagorodnev

This exhibition is recommended for mature audiences

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

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. Read more >> 

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. Read more >> 

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. Read more >>

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. Read more >> 

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. Read more >> 

Exhibition Essays

About Strings

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.

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Data as Trace, Data as Tag

Data is a force and we need to understand the power it holds over us and the power we yet hold over it. To engage with data, the traces we leave behind, we must first look at how it is collected. Our first two artists in Strings look at two very different types of traces we leave in the wake of our lives.

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New Media Art Defined

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.

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