Joey Edwards ACD MFA Practicum 2014
Little Data is an ongoing conceptual project based on scanning, printing, and re-presenting objects — ‘everything’ in the world, from the doo-dad to the metropolis (from the personal souvenir to the already-virtual Google Earth) — using common tools of the hegemonic technical apparatus: the camera, the computer, the Internet, and now, the 3D printer. The intent of the project is to reflect upon the uncomfortable implications of a culture that begins to place more value on a hyper-quantified and unquestioningly ‘objective’ worldview — as expressed by the pervasive contemporary compulsion to record, archive, categorize, communicate, and pass reductive judgment upon (in other words, the emergence of an absurd kind of self-surveillance facilitated by the use of cameras, smartphones, social media, and the Internet to photograph, save, tag, share, and ‘like’) just about ‘everything’ — than on one which is comfortable embracing the subjective, phenomenological human experience in all its mythic color, contradiction, multiplicity, and uncertainty. Taken to its logical conclusion, the conflation of signal with noise under the pretense of a comprehensible cognitive structure risks becoming the design for a schizophrenic condition in which the impossibility of meaningful action is all but determined. The project’s title is a send-up of the current interest in ‘big data’ (the use of indiscriminately large data sets to detect patterns, derive meaning, and predict the future); by fudging the figures and cooking the books, Little Data aims to suggest that there may be ways of gaming the system — or transcending it entirely.