Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Big Bang Data at Somerset House in London, other exhibitions and interviews, and 5 million + cats!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

I Know Where Your Cat Lives will be featured at the new exhibition, Big Bang Data, opening today at Somerset House in London. This is a traveling exhibition curated by Olga Subirós and José Luis de Vicente.

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Emails, selfies, shopping transactions, Google searches, dating profiles: every day we’re producing data in huge quantities. Our online activity, alongside that of businesses and governments, has led to a massive explosion – a ‘Big Bang’ – of data.

This radical shift in the volume, variety and speed of data being produced, combined with new techniques for storage, access, and analysis, is what defines the proliferation of data. It is radically reshaping our world and is set to revolutionise everything we do.

Data today gives us new ways of doing things: from scientific research to business strategy, politics to social interaction, our new data-driven society that has the potential to be more fair, stable, and efficient and yet it also created a tools for unprecedented mass surveillance and commodification. Data access and usage rights, along with the value they comprise, are at the heart of many concerns.

Big Bang Data explores the issues surrounding the datafication of our world through the work of artists, designers, journalists and visionaries. As the data explosion accelerates, we ask if we really understand our relationship with data, and explore the meaning and implications of data for our future.

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The exhibition, which runs Dec 3, 2015—Feb 28, 2016, includes over 50 works by artists, designers and innovators, comprising also a number of authors I’ve long admired like:
Brendan Dawes, Charles Joseph Minard, David McCandless, Ellie Harrison, Eric Fischer, Erica Scourti, Eva and Franco Mattes, Fight for the Future and Demand Progress, Florence Nightingale, Forensic Architecture, Future Cities Catapult, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Horst Ademeit, IF, Ingo Günther, Ingrid Burrington and Dan Williams, Interaction Research Studio, Goldsmiths, ITO World, Jaime Serra, James Bridle, John Snow, Jonathan Harris, Jonathan Minard, Julian Oliver, Julie Freeman, Kamel Makhloufi, Kiln, Laura Poitras, Lev Manovich and Moritz Stefaner, Lisa Jevbratt, Lise Autogena and Josh Portway, mySociety, Nesta, Nicholas Felton, Open Knowledge, OpenCorporates, Owen Mundy, Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, Philipp Adrian, Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Ryoji Ikeda, Safecast, Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi, Tekja, TeleGeography, The Guardian, The Long Now Foundation, Thomson and Craighead, Timo Arnall, Umbrellium, William Elford, and Zach Blas

Some press is emerging already and I’ll add more images as the show opens:

Meanwhile time for a…

2015 Update on IKWYCL

Just over a year ago I launched I Know Where Your Cat Lives and it immediately went viral. I’m gracious for all the positive attention the project has received, and even more so for the reach it generated. In addition to a notable influence on research and dialogue around metadata security, the impact for individuals has been significant. Over 25% of owners of cat photos from the original sample have removed or increased privacy on their images and, even more noteworthy, nearly 60% of users have chosen to leave their photos public but have manually removed their location data from the images they shared, underlining the importance of this project to experts in the field, as well as everyone who uses social media.

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Since then I’ve found time to evaluate the project’s impact and begin to work on the conclusion. The site I shared was only a prototype, containing just one million images from the at least 15 million tagged with #cat on social media. Thanks to everyone at FSU’s Research Computing Center, and to support from Dr. Ostrander at the FSU Office of Research, I’ve made great progress in collecting and visualizing the millions of images that users have unknowingly uploaded with geolocation data. With this exhibition at Somerset House I’m uploading another large dataset to bring the total number of cats to just under 5.4 million!

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The final project will include expanding the data set to run in real time, as well as a mobile app called “Like Tinder for Cats,” and a book project which contextualizes and documents the research, the technology I developed, and most importantly, the impact of this ephemeral web-based work on industry, academia, and culture. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to work with my longtime colleague and amazing writer, Shana Berger, on the writing for the project, the first essay of which is currently under review.

Highlights from the last year

The IKWYCL prototype website has already received press in Motherboard/Vice Magazine, The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Atlantic, Wired Magazine, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. It has been featured in several international exhibitions including the Tempo Documentary Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, and numerous others like:

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I Know Where Your Cat Lives was nominated for a 2014 IDFA DocLab Award for Best Digital Storytelling at the International Documentary Film Association (IDFA) Festival. While ultimately the amazing Serial podcast took the prize, I was thrilled to be nominated among many great interactive documentary works including Miranda July’s conceptual app Somebody. Read more about IDFA DocLab in this review on We Make Money Not Art.

I was also excited to take part in the festival, not only as a presenter, but a mystery guest on the evening of my talk. Previously I had shared a selection of my Google searches with a team of experts who led a quiz style analysis of my search history, complete with an artist who did a rendering of what my family looked like according to my searches, and a chef who prepared food for the audience based on what my data revealed.

That same month found me giving a presentation on my work during the L2 Forum at the Morgan Library in New York City.

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While in NYC I also spoke at the LISA (Leaders in Software and Art) Salon at Postmasters Gallery

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In May 2015 it was featured among works by Trevor Paglen and Jason Salavon in the exhibition Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation, at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam curated by Adam Kleinman. This was followed by an exhibit on interactive storytelling and the future of digital media at the Polish National Audiovisual Institute (NInA) in Warsaw curated by Anna Desponds.

Finally, I was very honored to be interviewed this summer for two separate European journalism projects around the cultural impact of technology.

Silvia Font published an extensive discussion which included many of my previous works for El Diario. The interview, Las fotos de tu gato en internet ponen en jaque tu privacidad (in Spanish), was part of a series that included interviews with Laura Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum.

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And, Charles-Henry Groult interviewed me for an ARTE web special about people shaping the culture and politics of the internet. The interview is in English but the interface elements are only in French and German

The dialog with these professionals was really gratifying. I’m so glad to have created something that is so thought-provoking, has proven impact, and yet is extremely fun to use. Thanks to everyone for the support :-)

Owen Mundy on Arte

Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I Know Where Your Cat Lives at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.

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Opening of the exhibition ‘Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation’, 21 May 2015. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

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Opening of the exhibition ‘Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation’, 21 May 2015. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation
22 May – 16 August 2015
Opening: 21 May 2015, 5pm

With: Aram Bartholl, Rossella Biscotti, Nina Canell, John Gerrard, Femke Herregraven, Antonia Hirsch, David Jablonowski, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, John Menick, Owen Mundy, Trevor Paglen, Lucy Raven, Stephan Tillmans, Julia Weist

How would you draw a picture of the Internet; through the machines and ‘their’ language that broadcast and store ‘our’ messages, or through the affect and power relations that those messages and their movement produce?


Exhibition visitors guide

Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation investigates how quantification, telecommunications, and our ever-expanding information apparati not only inform contemporary artistic production, but also how contemporary art can hold a mirror up to these processes and formations. The participating artists explore the fissure between literal infrastructure—code, machines, wires, and other like-vocabularies—and the subjective socio-political interactions fostered by using these devices. Guided not only by that which can be seen on the computer screen, and the various other black mirrors we stare into day in and day out, this exhibition also looks to what happens behind these screens. Moving from objects to subjects, we ask, how do these positions impact daily life, or said in another way: what does it mean to be ‘screened’?

Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation is the second iteration of Art In The Age Of…, a three-part presentation series running throughout 2015, that investigates future vectors of art production in the 21st century.

witte_de_with_logoWitte de With
Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
www.wdw.nl

I Know Where Your Cat Lives launched

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I just launched a new ongoing project this week. Here’s the text, a video and some screenshots. I’ll post more about how I made it soon.

Welcome to the today’s internet—you can buy anything, every website is tracking your every move, and anywhere you look you find videos and images of cats. Currently, there are 15 million images tagged with the word “cat” on public image hosting sites, and daily thousands more are uploaded from unlimited positions on the globe.

“I Know Where Your Cat Lives” iknowwhereyourcatlives.com is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.

This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all. This website doesn’t visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.

Folks can also contribute to a kickstarter to help with hosting costs.

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To My Dearest and Beloved Family documentation

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

beloved_seal_500wFor this project I returned to the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Alabama, to create a new work in collaboration with the community there. During the residency, six years after my first, I invited people to bring pictures of service members, veterans or those depicted in uniform, images of themselves or people whom they knew, to the center. I also collected stories from veterans and family members while they were dropping the images off. The photos depict individuals throughout history, from a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War to a current JROTC member enrolled at Sumter Central High School.

Every image I received was scanned and digitally restored, printed using archival ink and paper, and then sealed in a unique frame. The reproductions are embellished with an artist-designed seal that features the project name and harkens back to both military and government seals as well as gold leaf photo studio adornments. After the exhibition, original and new restored, framed photographs and digital files will be given to the owners. I will also publish a short record of the exchange along with photographs and selected stories, which will be preserved in the York Public Library.

The framed images were installed in a one-person exhibition at the Coleman Center, with The Americans, a reproduction of a military portrait studio, and Through A Glass Darkly, a 12 minute film representing only the landscape scenes from the top 100 Hollywood war films.

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More images here

Coleman Center residency progress Tues Jan 29

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

There is much interest in my project here at the Coleman Center. People stop by every hour with photographs and stories of their past experiences and motivations for joining the service.

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To My Dearest and Beloved Family, Aubrey, England, May 3, 1945

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On Monday I worked with the Art Club, showing them how to use the equipment and talking about the many different ways the military is represented through photography and film.

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Touching up a WWI image

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Fred Adams and his portrait

Printer disassembly + baby

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

A stop motion animation from my studio in Berlin 2011 where I disassemble and reuse old ink jet printers to construct new a series of kinetic artworks. Guest starring Joelle and four-month-old Sophia.

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Robot self-portraits #3-7

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Robot self-portrait #3 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #4 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #5 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #6 (Dublin)

Robot self-portrait #7 (Golden Gate Bridge)

Robot self-portrait #1-2

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Robot self-portrait #1 (Tallahassee)

Robot self-portrait #2 (Tallahassee)

Warped victory

Monday, July 25th, 2011