Vanessa Van Obberghen

Vanessa Van Obberghen: Emotional data

Awash in data, how do we remember the meaning and the feeling behind the information


In the Anthropocene, within which our “information society” is nestled, information visualization is seen as key to cracking the code with the problem of Big Data. The issue, we are told, is that there are too many likes, too many advertisement clicks, too many searches, too many flu viruses, in the end, too many ones and zeros—and not enough creative ways to utilize the information, be it for altruistic or nefarious reasons. Artists have been working with data visualization since, one could argue, inhabiting the Lascaux Caves, and certainly since the Conceptual turn of the 1970s.

In 2015, here in Portland, Oregon upon the floor and walls of the modestly sized and substantially relevant Worksound International, we can view an exhibition of works by Vanessa Van Obberghen that leap from the sterile information aesthetic to entangle data with the ever subjective emotions of humans.