Artists work with technology as a medium in Data Relations


For better or worse, data is intrinsic to modern life. In recent months with various data breach scandals, Australians have been reminded of its omnipresence— and in Data Relations, artists explore how data manifests both personally and societally.

“I’m very interested in the way artists work with technology as a medium, and think about it as a facet of our culture and everyday life,” says guest curator Miriam Kelly. “The show distills this in the way that artists think about data as something that might become the format of their work, and a structure and a way of relating to each other.”

Spanning video, sound and performance, the show also features sitespecific installations and augmentations. Artists including Zach Blas, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Mimi Onuoha and Winnie Soon integrate questions about contemporary issues, such as abortion and climate change, into their work with data, reflecting on global and individual concerns in different cultural contexts.

Data Relations will also include the launch of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s new Digital Wing with Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne’s Offset. In addition is the Data Relations Summer School, increasing data literacy among the public with workshops and performances both onsite and at relevant locations.

“We are conceptualising the data school as an artist in the exhibition. Most of the artists in the show are academics, so they have a real interest in pedagogy, learning and knowledge exchange,” says coordinating curator Shelley McSpedden. “We’re trying to mirror in some ways a learning institution, but changing it up, playing with it and experimenting. There’ll be lots of interventions on our digital platform as well. It’s iterative and expansive—an interplay between cultural production and cultural knowledge.”

Data Relations
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Until 19 March

This article was originally published in the January/February 2022 print edition of Art Guide Australia.

Preview Words by Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen