Sculpting Data (& Painting Networks) — Full Video

Above, a video explaining the collaborative art/theory work that my wife Karin and I have been doing lately — both as a part of the Duke S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab‘s Manifest Data project and in a spin-off project that will be going on display at Duke University next month. The video is being shown right now (at the time of this posting) at North Carolina State University — at the 6th annual AEGS conference “How do you do humanities?,” where Karin is representing the two of us and presenting alongside Amanda Starling Gould, Luke Caldwell, Libi Striegl, and David Rambo.

Wish I could be there, but I’ve got another panel here at SCMS in Montreal today…

Manifest Data: Presentation Audio and Slides

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Click the image above to view the slides and hear the audio track recorded at our January 21, 2015 presentation of Manifest Data, a collaborative art/theory project by the Duke University S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab (directed by Mark B. N. Hansen and Mark Olson). This is an ongoing project, with further elaborations/iterations and presentations/exhibitions in the planning (more soon!).

The presentation took place at The Edge, the new digital and interactive learning space at Duke’s Bostock Library. The presenters (in the order of their appearance) were: Amanda Starling Gould, Luke Caldwell, Shane Denson (me), and David Rambo.

For more info about the project, see here and here — and stay tuned for more!.

Manifest Data

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On January 21, 2015 (3:00-4:00pm), the S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab will be presenting a collaborative artwork titled Manifest Data at The Edge, the new space in Duke University’s Bostock Library devoted to “interdisciplinary, data-driven, digitally reliant or team-based research.”

Manifest Data brings together programmers, 3-D printing specialists, sculptors, and theorists to reflect on the production of value in the digital age, the materiality of information, and the (non-)place of mediated relations.

Code written by Luke Caldwell captures data that would otherwise be leaked as we browse the web, and exploited by the likes of Google and Facebook; in a second step, this data is transformed into a coordinate system that can be mapped as a 3D object. In collaboration with other lab members, artist Libi Striegl prepares and prints out the resulting “data creatures.” Karin Denson has reimagined these forms as beautifully grotesque garden gnomes — thus reappropriating a figure that has become a symbol for 3D printing and a marketing tool for companies like MakerBot. Together, Karin and I have further translated these figures into the hybrid spaces of augmented reality, planting the gnomes strategically and in such a way as to instantiate a very personal system for creating value that — dare we hope? — is immune to corporate cooptation. Lab members David Rambo and Max Symuleski, among others, round out the project with artistic-theoretical statements connecting the project of Manifest Data with a critical questioning of contemporary manifest destiny and a new phrenology for the digital age.

The S-1 Lab is directed by Mark B. N. Hansen and Mark Olson in the Media Arts + Sciences Program at Duke. The Manifest Data project was initiated by Amanda Starling Gould, who has continued to provide it with a guiding aesthetic-theoretical vision.

More information about the presentation, which happens to be the inaugural presentation in the “What I Do With Data” series of the Digital Scholarship Services at Duke, can be found here.