On Data, Dumps and (dis)Likes

In times of excess nothing is ever really gone, just relocated.

Mass quantities of production are met with equal amounts of discarding, where new landmasses and discrete territories are shaped by the granules of an endlessly growing genealogy of digital and physical objects. These dumps, a form of archive, are different in nature, as some exist within the virtual as data, mesh objects, and digital processes, while others are within the material as partial, whole, or fragments of objects. Within this boundary of the abstract and tangible, we like to explore the capacity for excess to be reappraised through new means and mediums as part of a contemporary ecology.

The two images are made up of the same things; 3D scans of real objects and digital models of digital objects. The image on the right is the scaleless 3D model space, in the repository where these digital objects exist. Presented here as frames within a 3×3 grid of loose configurations independent of axes, coordinates, orientation and ground, the partial or whole meanings within the disparate objects are lost, allowing for new realities to be projected onto. What we consider here are the scaleless aspects of the 3D modeling environment to be one in the same as the vastness of the archive; a simultaneous space for both storage and creation. Through this digital-dumpster-dive, these otherwise meaningless objects are digitally polished and re-arranged to afford a new set of readings and qualities. The image on the left is a speculation on how the current era of mass-personalization in a time where the physical is increasingly intertwined with the virtual (augmented virtual overlays and immersive virtual experiences) influenced by conscious and unconscious acts of ‘liking’ and ‘disliking’ (the double tap, thumbs up, or the microsecond lulls spent on an add) might begin to create new readings tuned specifically to the taste of individual and/or collective observers.

Though limitlessness and scalesness are becoming more pervasive in the virtual and physical with respects to production and waste, the aspect we are interested in exploring here is the bias, both human and algorithmic, that influences how we sort, store, modify, arrange, and curate the digital and physical rejects while speculating for whom and how that might happen, and to what ends.