Database Imaginary


database imaginary exhibition website screenshot
database imaginary exhibition website screenshot

‘Dataistic’ exhibition and symposium at Canada’s Banff Center for New Media some years ago, sets the stage for thinking about ‘dataism’.

Databases drive culture. 33 artists take us on an imaginative and subversive ride. The artists presented in Database Imaginary use databases to comment on their uses and to imagine unknown uses. The term database was only coined in the 1970s with the rise of automated office procedures, but the 23 projects in this exhibition – which includes wooden sculptures, movies and telephone user-generated guides to the local area – deploy databases in imaginative ways to comment on everyday life in the 21st century. Using newly inflected forms of visual display arising from computerized databases, the works seem to raise questions about authorship, agency, audience participation, control and identity. Some ‘dataism’-related images from the exhibition and the process of setting it up.

One Database Imaginary curator Steve Dietz’ thought piece for the show: The Database Imaginary:Memory_Archive_Database v 4.0

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