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Machine Readable is a body of work exploring the ways in which human identity and behavior is altered, flattened, and compartmentalized to fit the demands of both the algorithms and technology that pervade our everyday lives, as well as those responsible for their production. Part of an ongoing series of research-based projects, this exhibition asks us to consider the impact of our increasingly digitized way of life on how we view ourselves and others, how we shape ourselves to adhere to the rigid rules and structures required of an inflexible and binary system, and how technology ends up creating and ossifying social categories and boundaries.
As more and more of our lives have moved into virtual contexts, we have come to primarily see others through technological mediation: the lens of a camera, the flat screen of a device, the data from a web search. What has technology done to our conceptions of human interaction and agency? What do we prioritize in our everyday decision making—technology or each other? How do we learn to do what the machine asks of us, and why doesn’t it really work the other way around?
Many of the projects in this exhibition are not viewable in their entirety without an Internet-enabled mobile device. This is an intentional creative decision, which is meant to highlight our assumptions surrounding technology and access, information, and gratification. If you do not have access to a smartphone, you can view a virtual tour of the work, as seen through a device, at machinereadable.art (launching soon).
Funding for this exhibition has generously been provided by the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roopa Vasudevan (she/her) is a media artist, computer programmer and researcher, currently based in Philadelphia. Her practice examines social and technological defaults, interrogates rules, conventions and protocols that we often ignore or take for granted, and centers humanity and community in explorations of technology’s impacts on society. Her work has been supported by Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY), ABC No Rio (New York, NY), the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (Haverford, PA), SOHO20 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), SPACES (Cleveland, OH), China Residencies, and Flux Factory (Queens, NY). She is a current Vox Populi member, and is pursuing her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at Penn, where she researches the complex and involved relationships between new media artists and the technology industry.
More Info: roopavasudevan.com / machinereadable.art / @rouxpz