the data issue


Recently I wrapped up one of the more exciting projects I've ever worked on. I was the co-guest editor, along with Marvin Jordan, of a special issue of DIS magazine. Known as the Data Issue it took as its starting point the rise of so-called "big data", or more broadly the series of shifts associated with the ubiquitous nature of parallel processing, large data sets, and digital networks. 

The issue was predicated on a simple adjustment to the current discourse in art and theory. While various discussions and art practices are focused on the circulation of images and their potential vis-a-vis "the internet," the issue took for its main subject the totalizing effect of the massive amounts of data with which we are now imbricated as social subjects. These are data that are stored on the backend of ubiquitous platforms, without user interfaces, much less accessible on the consumer web. A central thesis for the Data Issue was that the most interesting things are happening off screen.

The works and texts were attempts to explore the intermingling of bodies in "datafied terrains", (to paraphrase an excellent paper on the topic) that are subject to new architectures and social relationships.

AuthorMike Pepi