I think about every moment as if someone is watching, generating data visualizations of my movements, expressions, and thoughts. I drive to work and Spotify knows each time I’m changing a song instead of looking at the road. I record my run on Strava and my health insurance company knows I’m practicing preventative care. I visit my neighbor and their Amazon Ring doorbell photographs and sells my face to the local police department. At any place and time my actions are recorded through digital technologies, put up for free or for sale, and analyzed by third-party actors. I will never know the full extent to which my personhood becomes data or someone else’s monetary gain. In search of my own sense of control over these unknowns, I surveil my own actions. My artworks are visualizations of everyday activities documented in printed materials. Printmaking pulls the information out of the computer, making the data tangible, immutable, and limited edition.
I fear the use of AI as a tool of moral judgment, as a system by which someone could be accepted or rejected from social life with possible punitive repercussions. On a personal level this fear comes from growing up in a mono-cultural, rural, and Christian community which positioned God as an omniscient punisher watching your every move and listening to your thoughts. Given the digital turn towards AI as the future of communication, commerce, healthcare, science, and political/social control, I’m interested in the ethical questions concerning the increased surveillance brought by AI and data-driven technologies. Texts which remain highly influential to my practice include: Alone Together by Sherry Turkle, Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff, Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein, How to Do Nothing b Jenny O’Dell, and Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin.
My studio is a laboratory where physiological and behavior traits are fluidly translated through digital and printmaking technologies: I visualize my online shopping as computer-mouse movements made into laser-cut woodblocks or as eye-tracked screen wanderings over household objects; I collect and process social media selfies through facial recognition software and output them as screen-prints. Each body of work is generated from a series of collaborative actions between myself and several machines. My process parallels how personal data travels online, from personal device to internet to third-party actors.
I use biometric and sensory technologies to collect and visualize human behavior and bodily traits. These technologies translate the physiological and behavioral characteristics of an individual into readable data for a computer. The collected data sets are visually rich for artistic appropriation: eye-trackers reveal gradient heatmaps; facial recognition uses graphic lines and shapes overtop photographs; and computer-mouse movements create abstract line drawings. I’m drawn to printmaking for its direct transmedialization to and from the computer. By mixing traditional and contemporary printmaking-processes I can use laser-cutters to make woodblocks for pressure-printing, vinyl stencils as a resist for acid-tint lithographs, and digital image-manipulation to make screen-prints. When I arrive at the printing press, I’m still working with and against a mechanism in this search for control over the unregulated publishing of personal information.