Winnie Soon: What is data?


ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art) · Winnie Soon – What is data?


Data is situated. It is stored, selected, modified, presented and retrieved in a situated context which is never complete, objective or self explanatory. I’m interested in metadata, which is data that provides information about other data, but not the content of the data, such as the text or specific image. The reason why I’m interested in metadata, a concrete example would be the timestamp of a social media tweet, because it gives a little bit more information about the context in which we are not usually aware of.

In the work that I’m showing, the three works pay attention to timestamps. It is important information in a piece to compute the visible time of a censored tweet: when the tweet was posted, and when it was erased. It is also used to do sorting, especially the unerasable character’s history. Time is processual. This metadata contributes to the poetic and aesthetic representation of the piece, visualising the invisible in a poetic way. Conceptually, it is also about our experience of time, and how time is mediated computationally. The interconnectedness of forces shapes our experience of time and our ability to act in a world both politically and artistically.