What ties ties, ties
A collection of essays by Mariah Blue, Kathrin Graf, Lana Murdochy, Younwon Sohn, Amy Winstanley
What ties ties, ties is a book created by five artists of different nationalities, backgrounds, ages, and gender identity. This book is tied by 'Doubt', a short story about questioning perceptions of the world by Scottish painter Amy Winstanley (b.1983), 'Call Us by Our Names', poems that are a collaboration between Mariah Blue (b.1977) and a machine learning algorithm, 'Housewarming, Dear Ghost Ants', an invitation essay about house, creature, and future scenery by Korean artist Younwon Sohn (b.1990), 'Tadpoles', a short coming of age story exploring friendship and imagination of young women by Scottish-Kurdish artist Lana Murdochy (b.1995), and 'Moving Matter', an essay on exploring the relationship between feelings and the design of surfaces by German sculptor Kathrin Graf (b.1984).
Sonic Meditation: Vibrational Bodies
In a collaborative sound performance with artist Tina Reden, we pushed the sonic possibilities of ceramic coil pots as natural speakers — think of the sound produced by a sea shell when held to the ear. The varying shapes and sizes of the hand built coiled pots created varying tonalities, according to the shape of the pot and placement of microphones in the pots by performers to create layers of sonic feedback. These ceramic coil pots were made using techniques that have remained largely unchanged since the stone age.
Sleepeels is a Youtube personality. In her live stream performances she uses the digital devices of others to create a physical form for herself. She broadcasts herself live on the smartphones of her audience while streaming from her computer in the same proximity. A cacophony of echoes can be heard in the room as smartphones playback her performance at differing stream rates. Eventually the intensifying reverb drowns all speech and high pitched frequencies fill the room.
Like a positive feedback loop amplifies sound rapidly when a microphone is placed too close to a speaker, social media feedback loops amplify divisive political views and biases in humans. Personalized searches and selective algorithms filter users into homogeneous, interest based groups. They become more divided from each other in a self-fulfilling echo chamber of ideas.
Domestic Work Algorithm
These works examine the exploitative relationships between labor and digital platforms. I am currently using the employee monitoring software ActivTrak on myself and exploring what productivity means as a digital worker. In the work, I become my own employee. A worker surveillance algorithm mines my employee data, takes random screenshots of my online activity, and tracks my digital activities. In a similar project, Domestic Work Algorithm, I use my employee work data to create digital tapestries.This data is collected from my “day job” with the domestic labor platform Helpling, a digital platform described as “Uber for housekeepers.” The tapestries are created by a similarly exploitative online platform which outsources weaving to the lowest bidder.
Digital drawings can be made using the language of code. Anything can be used as data and therefor programmed into a drawing.
Symbols are hand drawn in repetitions following an algorithmic equation. The equation is created using dice. The dice choose which symbols will be used within the drawings, how many times they will be repeated, what order, and the colors which are used. The drawings can be hand replicated once an equation is formulated.
What bodies might look like if downloaded into a virtual space. The evolutionary process scrambles and bodies morph into various biological forms. Sometimes limbs are added or subtracted and there can be the addition of feathers and tails as well as the presentation of multiple genders.
A sound composition and animation that explores the auditory hallucinations that can be experienced during episodes of sleep paralysis.