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Data Excess2016

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[Digitally-assisted weavings, plexiglass, steel tube, website, publication]

Data Excess interprets, visualizes, and materializes digital waste as an expressive product of online culture. Through a research-creation methodology revolving around digitally assisted weaving, this project seeks links between digital and material processes and practices, historical and contemporary. The 19th-century Jacquard loom, operating on a binary system, is widely considered to be the first computer; connections between weaving and the digital multiply from there.

Focusing on the body as point of contact between Internet culture and textiles, the project focuses on "digital excesses" – pornographic spam e-mails and low-resolution screenshots – as sources for two weaving series.

In the first series, text from spam e-mails is translated into binary code, then into black-and-white weavings. Hidden text contained in these emails, computer-generated to mimic interpersonal communication and get them through spam filters, is emblazoned onto the coded weavings with digital embroidery.

The second investigation transforms poor-quality video screenshots into abstract double-sided weavings. The series speaks of the astounding amount of image and video content available online, the quality of which is often so poor as to make one question its use, its uploader's intentions, and its value to society.

Data Excess emphasizes the importance of embodied engagement with online space and with physical material, especially textile. Weaving relates to the digital not only as ancestor to code and software, but as a medium that links cultures and users. The project comprises an installation, a website, and a publication.

This project was presented at articule artist-run centre in Montréal from November 5 to December 5, 2016 as part of the exhibition Future Memories for the 12th biennial HTMLles Festival.

For more information, please see data-excess.com

Photographs by Guy L'Heureux

 

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