30 Jan 2023

ACCA launches new Digital Wing

A new commission by New York based artists Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne and the Data Relations digital publication will launch ACCA’s new Digital Wing on 30 January 2023.

ACCA’s current exhibition Data Relations explores our rapidly expanding data economy, surveillance technologies and the ascendance of Artificial Intelligence. Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne’s project, titled Offset, is a new online platform that suggests a variety of social exchanges and political actions individuals can undertake to reduce emissions and earn carbon credits. The project also invites suggestions from visitors for the artists to explore and bring to life over the course of the year.

According to Brain and Lavigne, the existing carbon offset markets act to maintain a status quo rather than address root causes of the climate catastrophe. “For ACCA’s digital commission, we will launch the first stage of Offset: Version 0.1 of an alternative carbon offset market. In this market, historic direct political actions will be quantified and sold as carbon offsets. How might political work that slows or prevents combustion be recognised in carbon markets just like other biophysical efforts to reduce emissions?,” they ask. 

Offset is the first work to be included in ACCA’s new Digital Wing, a flexible, iterative constellation of digital initiatives which is part of ACCA’s ongoing strategy to create works beyond the gallery walls.  The Digital Wing will include artistic commissions, creative development, knowledge-sharing and publishing.

ACCA Artistic Director/CEO Max Delany said the Digital Wing is a future-focused online destination for new and experimental contemporary art practices. “We are extremely grateful to the Ian Potter Foundation for supporting our new Digital Wing, which expands ACCA’s reach beyond the gallery.  ACCA’s artistic program will be expanded through digital commissions and projects that will be launched through the Digital Wing, so in time, it will be populated by new art, as well as writing, publications and research and a site for experimentation, collaboration, new partnerships and communities,” Max said.


The launch of the Digital Wing will also include the release of the Data Relations digital publication, which features texts by leading writers and academics in the field, addressing the art and ideas of artists included in the Data Relations exhibition.

Guest Curator Miriam Kelly’s curatorial essay considers the research and methodology undertaken in the development of Data Relations. Atlanta-based writer Amy Hale takes readers through the shady Californian Ideology of Silicon Valley as explored in Zach Blas’ Metric mysticism. London-based PHD researcher Yung Au tackles data’s relationship to the censorship, erasure and suppression of public information in Winnie Soon’s Unerasable characters series 2020-2022. California-based academic Mashinka Firunts Hakopian explores themes of intimacy, control and autonomy in Lauren Lee McCarthy’s new installation and video work Surrogate 2022.

Exhibiting artists Machine Listening (Sean Dockray, James Parker and Joel Stern) present the full transcript of their multi-channel sound installation, After words 2022, featured in the exhibition; and Mimi Ọnụọha has collaborated on an experimental performance script with New York-based Postdoctoral Fellow Tiara Roxanne. Installation images of the exhibition and moving-image excerpts from works are accompanied by ekphrastic alt texts written by Loqui Paatsch.

The Data Relations digital publication is generously supported by the Ian Potter Foundation, edited by Elyse Goldfinch, ACCA’s Curator, Public Programs and Publications, and designed by Lloyd Mst with website development by Jake Bonin. It is available via the ACCA website from 30 January.  Expressions of Interest are currently invited for participation in the Data Relations Summer School.  Staged over four days from 18 February, this is a free public program of experimental talks, workshops, performances, investigations and site-visits focused on understanding and intervening in the social consequences of a data driven society. Data Relations Summer School is curated by ACCA in collaboration with RMIT Research Fellow Joel Stern. Further information and EOI is available here.

Data Relations: until 19 March 2023, ACCA Galleries and Digital Wing

Currently showing at ACCA, Data Relations brings together artist-led projects that lyrically wrestle with some of the key issues and challenges of our contemporary data-driven society. The exhibition includes major new commissions and site-specific installations by Australian and international artists and collectives who critically and speculatively engage with the ways in which the data economy and related technological developments manifest in inter-personal and wider social relationships.

Artists: Zach Blas, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Machine Listening (Sean Dockray, James Parker and Joel Stern), Mimi Onuoha, Winnie Soon; plus Data Relations Summer School 
Guest Curator Miriam Kelly, Coordinating Curator Shelley McSpedden.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006
Melbourne, Australia
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am–5pm, Weekends 11am–5pm Entry free

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For further media information:
Katrina Hall

ACCA acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as sovereign custodians of the land on which we work and welcome visitors, who have cared foACCA acknowledges the Wurundjeri people as sovereign custodians of the land on which we work and welcome visitors, along with the neighbouring Boonwurrung and Bunurong people, and wider Kulin Nations. We acknowledge their longstanding and continuing care for Country and culture, and we extend our respect to ancestors and Elders past and present, and to all First Nations people.