The Material Turn co-curated by WhiteFeather and Kelly Thompson

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Project postcard designed by WhiteFeather, image of work by Kelly Thompson.

Material Turn exhibition, FOFA Gallery, March 5 – April 13, 2018

Co-curated by WhiteFeather Hunter and Kelly Thompson

Featuring works by: Sophia Borowska, Lia Cook, Emily Hermant, Robin Kang, Ryth Kesselring, Barbara Layne/ Studio subTela and Janis Jefferies, LoVid, Louise Lemieux Bérubé, Heather MacKenzie, Petrina Ng, Ellen Rothenberg, Laura Splan, and Shelley Socolofsky.

Exhibition vernissage: March 8, 2018 @ 7-9pm

Material Turn Symposium, March 10, 2018 (EV 11.715)

“The Material Turn” references a global philosophical impetus to address the increasing digitization of culture & society, and the political implications of this trend, including a counter response of placing emphasis on the physicality of matter. Creative material responses to questions of data control, the meaning of big data, algorithmic interpretations of data, data mining and information overload are some of the core interests of the project, in particular as they relate to the expanded textile field. This premise has informed the curatorial selection of works for The Material Turn exhibition.

The Material Turn Symposium presents opportunities for international visitors to exchange creative ideas, share knowledge and expertise, generate fruitful discussions that may lead to future collaborations and foster new networks across the fields of expanded textiles and data materiality. This one-day intensive follows the opening reception of The Material Turn exhibition at the FOFA Gallery, curated by Kelly Thompson and WhiteFeather Hunter, as well as the launch of The Material Turn publication, a visual and textual catalogue addressing the exhibition themes and featured artists’ works.

WhiteFeather will facilitate a discussion on Deviant Data at the Material Turn Symposium.

Deviant Data
Deviant Data is that which sits outside the bell curve of collected research data, and which is not factored in during (scientific) data analysis, becoming discarded, lost, unconsidered, seemingly irrelevant to the conclusive statements or end results. WhiteFeather will explore this concept using the Material Turn exhibition’s Archive of the (Un)loved as an initial reference point.

Questions:
By exploring or revisiting Deviant Data, what parallel realities might be uncovered? What insights can be gained by paying attention to anomalous information?

What new methodologies could be developed, or new algorithms, to process Deviant Data and where could this information potentially be applied?
Where has the “study of outliers” been used previously – who has considered “errors” and their implications in the real world?
How are we alerted to Deviant Data in our own lives and what do we do with it? Is Deviant Data generative?

Why does Deviant Data get ignored in the first place? Is there an assumption that data should behave neatly? What is the cost of this assumption?

WhiteFeather will briefly tie this in to biological data analysis as well as biological data storage systems and the problems with genetic engineering technologies as an example of where Deviant Data sits dormant, but also extend it more broadly to infrastructural systems, such as economic systems to see where it is specifically used to “police” the system.

Visit the Material Turn website here.

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