The latest issue of Libre Graphics magazine (and the final issue in volume two) is now out and available for reading and purchasing.
This issue looks at Capture, the act of encompassing, emulating and encapsulating difficult things, subtle qualities. Through a set of articles we explore capture mechanisms, memory, archiving and preservation of volatile digital information, physicality and aesthetization of data.
On page 12 you’ll find an article from me about surveillance culture.
We are obsessed with capture. On an aesthetic level we have been attempting to capture aesthetic qualities of things for thousands of years through drawing, painting and, relatively recently, photography. Advances in digital technology now allow to capture more than just aesthetic qualities of a thing. Now we can measure things, analyse them, and make decisions based on statistics and quantifiable data as opposed to qualitative personal opinions. Through this we have gained an incredible insight into the world around us, and can study everything from weather patterns, genetics of species and so much more. This gigantic planet and beyond now seems so much more comprehensible, now that we can understand it in terms of numbers and patterns.
Developments in digital technology have turned the focus increasingly onto the individuals. We want to understand not just how an environment evolves, but also the people that move through it. We want to know how they interact with it, why they do so, what their intent might be, what they might do next, what their emotions are and study little incidental quirks that could reveal more than a person intended. Like weather and climate data before it, the hope is that by collecting enough data about individuals we can begin to understand them more, and make predictions about them.
If you’ve been following my work this year you’ll see that surveillance culture has been a big part of it. I curated an exhibition at Vivid Projects called Stealth in June and the recent work I’ve done with Lucy Hutchinson echoes the works of artists like Adam Harvey and looks at ways to work with and against face detection software. I feel talking about this is very important, especially as we’re being increasingly watched by our devices and our Governments.
Read the whole piece in Libre Graphics magazine, which you can read or purchase from the website.