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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day

Ottawa’s Artengine launches the CanCon AV Index (CAVI), a search engine that “fences off sections of YouTube,” isolating videos by 500 Canadian arts organizations. Ambitiously, the project team of Ryan Stec, Najeeba Ahmed, Julie Gendron, and Ashlee Conery scraped 33,000 videos (and metadata)—yielding a treasure trove of lectures, artist talks, and panels. Part alt-interface and part data liberation, CAVI rebuts against “optimizing to be machine-readable and playing the algorithm” (i.e. gambling for attention).

Billed as their largest solo show to date, Eva & Franco Mattes’ “Fake Views” opens at Frankfurter Kunstverein (DE), illuminating platform culture, internet infrastructures, and online communities. For their new installation P2P (2022-23, image), for example, the Italian net art duo invited peers Nora Al-Badri, Simon Denny, Do Not Research, Olia Lialina, Jill Magid, and Jon Rafman to create new works to be hosted on a peer-to-peer server enclosed in a wire cage—an ‘exhibition within the exhibition.’

Danish interaction designer Bjørn Karmann premieres Paragraphica (2023), a camera that ‘captures’ images with location data (address, weather, time of day, etc.) and AI. Three dials control the data and Stable Diffusion parameters while the viewfinder displays a real-time text description of the place you’re at. Upon pressing the trigger, the AI will generate a ‘photo’ from that prompt. The project exists both as a physical, star-nosed mole-inspired prototype and a virtual camera for you to try.

“Where Big Data is merely aestheticized, a new court art is created, in whose flickering lights you can ‘talk about e-cars’ with politicians and lobbyists undisturbed, as entrepreneur Frank Thelen enthusiastically posted.”
– Writer and arts editor Niklas Maak, condemning the largely inoffensive, un-critical works on view at “Dimensions: Digital art since 1859,” a Leipzig exhibition curated by notoriously pro-business cultural manager Walter Smerling and sponsored by American surveillance software contractor Palantir [quote translated from German]

Manifesting how data centres “buzz, hum, and groan around the clock,” 24/7 (2023, image), a new audiovisual installation by composer and visual artist Esmeralda Conde Ruiz opens at HELLERAU in Dresden (DE). Produced during her residency at TU Dresden’s multidisciplinary Schaufler Lab, the installation transforms the HELLERAU orchestra pit into a pseudo-server farm, inviting visitors to explore a noisy labyrinth that foregrounds the sound of ubiquitous data flows.

“New Visions,” the 2nd Edition of the Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media opens in Oslo (NO). A total of 22 artists including Anna Ehrenstein, Anna Engelhardt, Kristina Õllek, Monira Al Qadiri, Emilija Škarnulytė (image: RAKHNE, 2023), and Istvan Virag contribute media and installations, drawing on traditional mediums and new modes of automated image-making to underscore the ubiquity of “resource extraction, energy distribution, and data harvesting.”

“We could almost touch the data but we cannot see it. Like the billions of images made each day that no one will ever look at. Some of these unseen photographs are made by people, others by and for machines.”
– Critic Régine Debatty, on Eva & Franco Mattes’ Personal Photographs (2021-22) that are currently ‘on view’ at GAMeC, Bergamo (IT), as part of “A Leap into the Void.” Taken over the course of a month, the images—their data, rather—circulate via ethernet cables contained in colourful cable trays.
“Even though © doesn’t provide for any protection against biometric use, it does prohibit the redistribution of the image file. CC allows it. Ideal for packaging files into datasets.”
– Software artist Adam Harvey, warning about the use of Creative Commons licenses. Photos of people shared with the latter “can be freely redistributed in biometric AI and machine learning databases with virtually no legal recourse,” writes Harvey, referencing his 2022 research for the Open Future think tank’s AI_Commons project.

“Rap Research Lab,” an exhibition showcasing Tahir Hemphill’s eponymous studio and education initiative, opens at the Center for Art, Design & Visual Culture (CADVC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (US). Presented works interpreting hip hop lyrics as datasets include Picasso, Baby! (2014), which visualizes cross-connections between rappers and modern artists, and Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement. (2014, image), which maps geography in lyrics of MCs including Jay Z and Missy Elliot.

“Data Garden,” an exhibition by Kyriaki Goni, opens at Blenheim Walk Gallery in Leeds, UK. In it, the Greek artist presents her eponymous ongoing series (image), which uses CGI and sculpture to chronicle Saxifraga depressa and Micromeria acropolitana, plant species native to the Dolomites mountain range and the Acropolis. Presenting plant DNA as a communication protocol that links communities, Goni centres “deep time, geological transformations, and plant history.”

Marco Barotti‘s solo exhibition “Rituals of Wasted Technology” opens at silent green, Berlin, presenting two mythical techno-species in defiance of obsolescence: As tower-mounted APES (recycled Wi-Fi sector antennas) perform ”quasi-rituals” from data input—Facebook likes, Google searches, tinder swipes—SWANS (used satellite dishes) float about, propelled by sound. Barotti’s show is part of “Speaking to Ancestors,” a two-year series on ritual curated by Pauline Doutreluingne and Keumhwa Kim.

“When I say profit is the main driver behind this, it’s really important, because this is not necessarily how it needs to be, but it is how these systems are set up.”
– Environmental Media Lab Director Mél Hogan, describing the extractive and eugenicist tendencies underpinning the data economy. “It’s why all those Big Tech guys are telling everyone to vote Republican … [that and lobbying are] intentional political manoeuvres to maintain those hierarchies.”

“Data Relations,“ a group show addressing contemporary mediated social and power relations in “profound, humorous, poetic“ ways, opens at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne. Curated by Miriam Kelly, artists including Zach Blas, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Machine Listening, Mimi Ọnụọha (image: These Networks In Our Skin, 2021), and Winnie Soon contribute data-focused projects that look “beyond the technological mirage of abstraction, false neutrality, and obfuscation.“

Eva & Franco Mattes’ solo exhibition “Most to Least Viewed” opens at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive (FMAV) in Modena, Italy. Focused on duo’s central themes of data, power, and identity, curator Nadim Samman presents seven algorithmically selected works, laid out in sequence of most to least viewed. The display includes The Bots (2020), Untitled (Yellow Tray) (2021), and their newest piece, P2P (2022), a torrent server sharing one of the artists’ videos.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were designing cooling systems for a peak outdoor temperature of 32 degrees. They’re now over 8 degrees higher than they were ever designed for.”
– Jon Healy, of the UK data center consultancy Keysource, on how data centers are ill-prepared for the climate crisis. Healy argues that it’ll require substantial retrofitting—bigger chiller machines, bigger condensers, implementing evaporative cooling—to keep the planet’s collective knowledge online.
“Compared with energy use, data center water consumption is much more behind-the-scenes, is much more controversial, and in some cases is considered a trade secret.”
David Mytton, former researcher at the Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy, on why the droughts in the American West could bring about a reckoning for the tech industry’s “secret water hogs”
“Scraping can sound like intrusive hacking—because it is. It disregards contextual integrity and asserts a right to inhale entire data sets and process them.”
David Golumbia, American author, researcher, and Virginia Commonwealth University Associate Professor, making the case that data scraping, commonly used by researchers and journalists, is an underacknowledged privacy concern. “Scrapers’ indifference to consent means their data and results are conceptually unreliable,” Golumbia writes.

Mario Santamaría’s solo exhibition “Remote Hands” opens at àngels barcelona as part of the 27th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA). In addition to showing his Cloudplexity (2019) series of data cloud depictions sourced from US Patents, the Spanish artists debuts Underdesk (2022): an invitation to ‘lounge in the cloud’ and explore the gallery’s material internet infrastructure from a hammock underneath a fireproof computer desk.

“The way you position your antenna and even your body are recorded in the image as signal and noise. This means each image is unique to the person and place that created it.”
Open Weather’s Sasha Engelmann and Sophie Dyer, on setting up your own “DIY satellite ground station.” Using a basic V-shaped antenna, a dongle, and free software, anyone can receive images from the public data broadcast of the orbiting NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellites, they write.
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