MMCA Seoul presented Vertiginous Data, an acclaimed international exhibition of media art. Through innovative works using the medium of data—the fundamental unit of digital technology—the participating artists share their sharp insights and vision of our rapidly changing society and culture. Playing upon the myriad ways in which data is classified and systematized, these artists expand the scope of artistic expression, criticize the monopolization of data collection, and introduce new technology for the greater public good.
In her work, for example, Rachel Ara collects and reflects data in real time, enabling her to explore the relationship between gender, technology, and power. Meanwhile, Zach Blas and artist teams such as Forensic Architecture and SUPERFLEX collect, analyze, and redefine data in an attempt to liberate the rights of free citizens from the clutches of global corporations and governments.
At a different level, data technology provides artists with a foundation for exciting new media experiments. Using robot vacuum cleaners, which have become a global phenomenon, Cao Fei and Chris Shen illuminate the contradictions of the digital society with wit and intelligence, while poetically visualizing the physical processes of the universe.
The exhibition also introduces new video works by Sylbee Kim and Woonghyun Kim, which imaginatively contemplate the data environment and technological condition from an artistic and scientific perspective. Likewise, using blockchain technology, Harm van den Dorpel and Simon Denny try to reconstruct artistic values based on an anti-authoritarian system, while testing the limits of innovative freedom in art.
Curated by Deoksun PARK, Vertiginous Data showcases how both Korean and international artists are contemplating and consummating the potential of data through an array of compelling artistic endeavours.