transmediale, Berlin, Germany | Website
Curated by Daphne Dragona and Robert Sakrowski
We live in an accelerated condition, hurtling towards the datafication of everything. Data collection and processing is now at the core of all elements shaping our society and we as users act as sensors within it. Capturing data, locating patterns, predicting and optimising behaviours is the new endless loop. The ‘capture all’ logic leaves little to chance; yet, much is still unknown about how data is used, processed and ultimately valued. The current ideology of the emerging algorithmic society suggests that data is constantly correlated and controlled in order to ensure security and prosperity, and the dual processes in action make this easy; the optimisation of the self directly connects to the optimisation of networked systems, while the constant datafication of physical and online interactions enables new modes of identification and normalisation. There is something deeply cynical and paradoxical in the dominance of today’s algorithmic culture. Isn’t the Flash Crash symptomatic of a more general loss of control found in life and work as well?
The 2015 transmediale exhibition, CAPTURE ALL, presents artistic positions that respond to the asymmetries and the misconceptions of a datafying world. The selection, which came together after curatorial research and an open call for works, particularly focuses on the ambiguous relationship and uncanny tension between the user and the algorithm, the self and the constantly evolving apparatus. Can the system still be gamed or has an impasse been reached? Art under algorithmic pressure seems to be pushing back; it appropriates the ‘capture all’ logic and tests the limits. Accelerating processes of self-commodification, engaging in acts of over-identification, re-channelling and re-purposing the networks’ processes and exposing the hidden monstrosity of technical infrastructures, the works on show reflect a spectrum of such artistic practices. Using image recognition apps, lifelogging cameras, biometric diagrams, as well as scores, numbers and correlations, the artists critically discuss, playfully provoke and speculate about the future of algorithmic work and life. The exhibition reflects on the potentiality of excess which, driven from art, allows room for what is still unexpected and beyond capture and measurement.
Artists: Timo Arnall, Art is Open Source [AOS]: Salvatore Iaconesi + Oriana Persico, Zach Blas, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Eastwood – Real Time Strategy Group, LaTurbo Avedon, Jonas Lund, Jennifer Lyn Morone, Tobias Revell, Sebastian Schmieg, Silvio Lorusso, Erica Scourti