Levels of Abstraction: A Data Portrait

Video work

Bethany Crawford

Through using different apps and programmes that quantify the various attributes of the artist, Levels of Abstraction enacts a search for the self within the contemporary ubiquity of data.  Through conversational engagement with the learning language model, GPT-3, the artist and machine collaboratively navigate the significances of contemporary practices of self-datafication, and the concrescence of the human with technology. This new work was commissioned as part of the exhibition ‘Data Vitality: Soft Infrastructures and Economies of Knowledge’ 2021. Part of the research and materials for developing the artwork were conducted at Aalto University Campus including access to Research Infrastructures and centres of excellence such as OtaNano and Aalto NeuroImaging Infrastructure.

Bethany Crawford is an artist and researcher working in lens-based media. Her practice examines the visual in relation to memorial, and how this translates over time, geography and technologies. Her current theoretical research critically assesses the implications of ‘digital immortality’ on central tenets of the human experience, as a preliminary mapping of the shifting existential paradigms of the digital age. She is a research student at the University of Amsterdam department of Media studies. Bethany graduated from the Dutch Art Institute with a Masters of Art Praxis and holds a bachelor's degree in Moving Image from the University of Brighton. Her book, ‘Redefining Eternity: Interfacing Immortality in the Digital Corporate World’ was published last year with the publishing house Academica Press. Recent presentations of research include the Centre for Death and Dying, Brighton CCA and M8 Artspace.

With thanks to staff and scientists at Aalto Research Infrastructures:

Anna Rissanen, Director, OtaNano NanoFab

Minna Günes, Senior Academic Coordinator, OtaNano

Alexander Savin, Senior Scientist, OtaNano Low Temperature Laboratory

Jani Seitsonen, Staff Scientist, OtaNano Nanomicroscopy Centre

Ramzy Abdelaziz, Staff Scientist, OtaNano Nanomicroscopy Center

Veli-Matti Saarinen, Research Engineer, Aalto Behavioral Laboratory, Aalto NeuroImaging Infrastructure (ANI)

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