Data Mining Takes Over Local Gallery

Ever wondered where all the personal information that we feed into the Internet ends up? So do Vancouver artists Nathan McNinch and Kevin Day. Their exhibition, A Scanner Ubiquity, on show at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art from January 23 – March 7, collates samples of seemingly useless but readily available public information and turns it into works of art.

Using kinetic sculptures throughout the gallery, their works examine, in various ways, everyday information and the use of that data in common applications. A participatory installation piece takes the form of several machines that retrieve physiological information (such as height and density) from the nearby audience; in real time, the data is then continuously printed on paper, creating something similar to a polygraph using the gathered information.

Also included in the show are a series of large wall-sized paper ‘drawings’ depicting nonsensical HTML code of websites, and a custom-made one-pixel camera that takes photos one pixel at a time and prints them out at pre-programmed intervals, accumulating the photos in a heap on the floor. The photographic data are fragmented beyond function and legibility, and focus on the mathematical quantification of ‘being’ instead.

The exhibition demonstrates the process by which human attributes become privatized and reduced to data and statistics, fully exploited in the information age. Can resistance be accomplished through induced obsolescence – by making the data non-functional through self-erasure, overabundance, translation, and exaggeration?

Visit the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art between January 23 and March 7, 2015 to view the exhibition.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is an artist-run centre located in Kelowna at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Avenue. The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a registered non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the development of the creative community. Since 1989, the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian artists, focused on innovative and non-traditional mediums engaged in social and cultural issues.

 

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