SILO



The weekly SILO Seminar Series is made possible through the generous support of the 3M Company and its Advanced Technology Group

3M

with additional support from the Analytics Group of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutual

Negotiations in Art and the Science of Information

Meg Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Digital Foundations of Art, UW Madison

Date and Time: Oct 19, 2011 (12:30 PM)
Location: Orchard room (3280) at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Building

Abstract:

Meg Mitchell creates work in diverse media from video, to performance, digital media and interactive installations. She uses humor to subvert formalist interpretations of her work, and to play with the boundaries between the conceptual and the physical spaces her work occupies. Mitchell borrows from a diverse range of sources such as Greek drama, contemporary advertising, camp, cinema, art history, and media representations of technological progress. Mitchell's most recent creative work combines the practice of computer programming with digital fabrication technologies to explore the poetic and aesthetic potential of physically instantiated data visualizations.

As data acquisition and storage technologies continue to develop, we have reached the point where it is impossible for humans to make sense out of the vast amounts of data surrounding us without the aid of computational techniques. Currently, data visualizations and data analysis are informing decision making that, just a few decades ago, was left to human perceptive faculties and human judgment. In light of this posthuman situation we find ourselves in, we increasingly feel a sense of disconnection from the vast cloud of data that informs many of the policy decisions that directly effect our lives. As the renaissance painter was once attributed mystical powers of representation, so now many computer programmers command mystifying powers of representation, often with the additional authority of scientific objectivity. Although we live in a world infused with technology, very few people understand its underlying mechanisms. My new body of work seeks to de-mystify some of these processes in a playful and hopeful context, and create a space for the viewer to contemplate these important issues.