Strings: Data and the Self


January 19 to April 15, 2018

Opening Reception:

January 19, 2018 at 6:00PM – 8:00PM (CMATO)

Panel Discussion with Artists:

January 20, 2018 from 2:00PM to 3:30PM at CMATO (Admission Free)

 California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) is pleased to announce the opening of a new media exhibition, Strings: Data and the Self. Curated by ArtSlant Senior Editor Joel Kuennen and Riccardo Zagorodnev, Strings: Data and the Self crystallizes the conversations surrounding self representation in the age of Big Data through the work of 5 artists who share a concern for the manner in which data increasingly determines our behavior, our interactions, and our overall relationship to the self.

Tish Greenwood, Executive Director of CMATO states, “The museum’s goal is to introduce the community to prominent contemporary artists working in diverse mediums. 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 Kuennen and Zagorodnev, both alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to thank for bringing us an interesting journey through the new media landscape. 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.” 

After Tim Berners-Lee’s first webpage flickered into existence in 1991, media scholars and social theorists glowed with optimism at the prospect of an “information revolution” delivering its subjects into a boundless future. Lauded as a social equalizer and platform for the proliferation of western democratic ideals, few prescient academics and cyber punks foresaw the dark cloud forming over the digital territory we call the internet. 

This exhibition approaches the implications of a life determined by data through three questions: How is data extracted? What can become of your data? How is emotional intelligence affected by data?

About the Artists:

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.

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 as well as their integration into law enforcement and incarceration systems. 

Jennifer Chan (Austerity, 2016) uses footage found online to create heartfelt works about vulnerability that recenter the self as a series of performances in accordance with imagined ideals. Her work forces us to confront the cognitive dissonance of abstract economic systems which dictate personal possibilities.

Amanda Turner Pohan’s (Linqox Criss on Machines, Living and Otherwise, 2018) work explores the making of self. From digital extensions of selfhood to wholly imagined identities, she provides pathways for a dialectic of personhood to take shape.

Shawné Michaelain Holloway (USER ID : ADD-TAGS-TO-DESCRIBE-YOURSELF.png, PROFILE-PIC.PNG, ABOUT-ME.PNG, 2018) presents a triptych, and accompanying digital essay that reflects on A Personal Project, a video project she began in 2013 while working as a cam girl. Her work interrogates how sexuality, identity and power are expressed online and off. 

For additional information about Strings: Data and the Self, contact Tish Greenwood, Executive Director at (805) 405-5240 or

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks is a non-profit organization committed to serving diverse audiences through the exhibition, interpretation, and exploration of Art. CMATO is committed to educating the community about the visual arts and dedicated to establishing a premier art museum that will serve Ventura County and surrounding communities through participatory programs. 

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