Silent Processing: The year I gave my heart and mind, and a voice to the machine

“The language in which we talk to ourselves as we endeavour to make sense of what is around and within us…and which in part lifts us above a world in which we would otherwise be drowned, is itself a wonder…I no longer dream of rising above the great sea of language to make sense of it from some imaginary extra-linguistic vantage point. But I still rejoice in its million nooks, its thousand lights and shadows and its endlessly folded depths”

Tallis, R. ‘In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections’. Acumen. 2012. p5

Over two decades ago I trained to build bespoke software systems, to enable different industries to manage their own data. Back in 2004, I returned to my first love; Art, but continued to work part-time with data-driven technologies to fund my art and practice-led research. And since 2015, I have played witness to my art and practice-led research becoming co-authored by digital processes, and begun probing the digital as a material, through artistic means.

Like Tallis and his ‘Defense of Wonder’, I am not looking to break the spell of art as it works upon us, but draw attention to wonder, as a thing in itself. So wondering about data and its biases, and curious how algorithms shape the flow of information and our thinking, during this fellowship my intention is to shine a light on data and create glimmers in the mysterious processing that goes on in the darkness. Attempting to create a symbiotic relationship between myself and the machine, I intend to give my heart and mind (and a voice) to data, and Become Algorithm, to play witness to the forms my algorithmic pattern making takes.