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[Nettime-nl] Lunch Bytes Amsterdam #2
Lunch Bytes Series on Tue, 3 Jun 2014 20:52:00 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] Lunch Bytes Amsterdam #2

Lunch Bytes Amsterdam 
Structures and Textures: 
15 June 2014

Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam

• Robin Boast, Professor of Cultural Information Science, University of Amsterdam
• Harm van den Dorpel, artist, Amsterdam/Berlin 
• Hans-Jürgen Hafner, art critic and curator, Düsseldorf 
• Jörg Sasse, artist, Brandenburg

Whenever we access information online, we tap into databases. These digital infrastructures organize data according to prescribed yet flexible logics so that people can query them. But while databases are omnipresent, their lack of visibility has thus far kept them from becoming objects of public scrutiny – even in a post-PRISM world. "Cloud" may be a term that has entered common parlance when we refer to online data repositories, yet what are we to make of this abstract, remote and fuzzy entity that somehow contains our data? One thing is clear: databases form the fundamental architecture that structures how we engage with our networked digital devices and that regulates our online activities. Whenever a status update appears on Facebook, when a book is recommended on Amazon, or when Google returns its search results, this is the result of complex algorithms processing giant data sets. During this process, new relationships between data are established, new objects and realities are constructed, and new connections between proprietary databases are forged. As the internet continues to expand and online activity intensifies, these databases grow accordingly and become immense mutable assemblages that stretch our common notion of the 'archive'. At the same time this increasing importance of databases has led to what has been called "the archival impulse" within contemporary art practice. It is a term designating art that excavates, reinterprets, and re-presents archived materials, thereby addressing strategies of classification and historical representation by offering alternative readings.

This Lunch Bytes event inquires into the nature of the database, asking how digital information is 'archived', processed and ordered in our networked environment, as well as examining how this is affecting our material reality. It invites artists who work with sets of data and have come up with new ways of structuring, re-appropriating and bundling (visual) information to present their works, having developed both narrative and computational systems for retrieving, grouping, and activating artifacts.

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