Bewildering Stores of Knowledge (2010)

Curated by armando torres
Editorial description Comments (0)

Vannevar Bush was an advocate of mechanized records of data that would eventually "give man access to and command over the inherited knowledge of the ages." His concepts for his proposed Memex urged scientists to focus on bringing this idea of an HTML-based archival system to reality and to use it for scientific and medicinal purposes. In this exhibit, I decided to choose works of art that incorporate Bush's concepts of accessible knowledge through "a few key-strokes," but also reject Bush's idea of data being solely used for science and medicine. AnthroPosts, for example, uses a database of post-it notes found in various cities around the globe and displays the collection of phone numbers, shopping lists, and personal notes in a cluttered mess, or in an organized view of rows and columns (which Bush would have greatly admired and appreciated). 15x15 takes not only aspects from Bush, but from Lev Manovich, specifically his Soft Cinema project. The user finds his self in a grid of 15 low-quality video clips submitted by people all over the place to project a sort of reality in a digital space. When refreshed, I found out that 15x15 loaded different video clips from a database. Bush would have favored Drug Quilt for the fact that it is literal knowledge at the tips of your fingers. One can discover information of every drug registered to the FDA to stress awareness of how medicated the public has become. Atmospheric Pollution is a project that forms a "link between pollutants and their effects on the planet health and the people who inhabit it." The Ghost of Vannevar Bush Hacked My Server was chosen for this exhibit not because of its vast store of knowledge that it does not have, but more for the idea of Vannevar Bush's presence amongst these works of art who more or less follow his concepts of "bewildering stores of knowledge." His ominous appearance reflects his approval or disapproval of these works of art listed in this exhibit. Each art work exhibited here have their own unique ways of delivering a data-based system that one can easily adapt to. Bush's Memex may not have been produced commercially, but his concepts and ideologies influenced the way we view information in an age of computers and New Media.

This exhibition has no comments. You should add one!

Leave a Comment