Pau Waelder

SOLAR | Acción Cultural Sociedad Lugar Arte
Open Data seminar, March 5th 2019
El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The curators of the association SOLAR invited me to give a talk about the use of data in artistic projects, in the framework of their Open Data seminar series. Titled “Critical Data”, my talk addressed the current forms in which our privacy has been breached by the increasing collection and commodification of our personal data, as well as the ways in which artists such as Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Eva and Franco Mattes, Gregory Chatonsky, Paolo Cirio, Ben Grosser and others have dealt with the use of data from a critical perspective.


Artistic appropriation in the era of surveillance capitalism
Pau Waelder

The growing collection and analysis of data obtained from users by large corporations and governments, as well as the strategies and regulations they employ to obtain more and more information from citizens, has led to widespread concern about the use of such data and the consequences it may have for our lives. There is a critical point in the amount of data that must be obtained in order not only to know, but also to determine the actions of individuals. Surveillance capitalism is based on this premise to predict and direct our consumption patterns. That is why it is necessary to respond to Big Data with Good Data, a more ethical use of data, and what we can call Critical Data, the use of data to generate a critical reflection on surveillance capitalism.

In this session we will discuss some of the aspects and approaches about the use of data and its impact on our society, as well as the artistic practices that appropriate the data to raise critical views about surveillance capitalism, but also to show hidden aspects of our relationship with technology. We will analyze the different ways of creating artistic projects from the data flows, as well as some strategies to work with the information that one generates and is stored in remote servers.

More information about SOLAR and the Open Data seminar