Hartnett Gallery is pleased to present Alison Nguyen’s i broke my mind at the link in my bio in a virtual exhibition featuring a new video work and screenings of her moving image work from 2017 to the present full. The exhibition will also include a series of public conversations and an online lecture-performance by Nguyen.
The virtual exhibition centers on Nguyen’s new body of work, Andra8 which spans video, installation, sculpture, and online performance. Andra8: my favorite software is being here is a digital video work focusing on an algorithmically generated character living in an apartment in the virtual void. Throughout the day she works as a “virtual assistant, a data janitor, a life coach, an aspiring influencer, and content creator” surviving off of the human data that she collects from these jobs.
Andra8 is a modern day Bartleby. A woman acting in resistance to the logic of capitalism. Employing techniques of experimental video, 3D animation, and machine learning, the work expands on dialogue taking place around technology, gendered digital labor, and the construction of self in the age of ambient intelligence, revealing invisible structures of control.
In attempting to subvert her prescribed dependence on data, Andra8 instigates questions of data commodification, social media culture, and online labor. Nguyen worked with Achim Koh, a researcher, programmer and previous member of the School for Poetic Computation to create a machine learning program using training data from “B-list” social media influencers working in areas such a lifestyle, wellness, and technology. This program was used to generate text that was collaged with Nguyen’s original writing of Andra8’s monologue. What emerges is a deeply unsettling and thought provoking performance.
On November 23rd, the Hartnett Gallery will premiere Andra8 through a virtual screening followed by a conversation with Nguyen and her collaborators. On December 3rd Nguyen will be holding a lecture-performance via Instagram Live to accompany the piece with technical direction by digital artist and educator Jonathan Beilin.
About the artist
Alison Nguyen’s work explores the ways in which images are produced, disseminated, and consumed within the current media landscape, exposing the socio-political conditions from which they arise. Creating strategies for dissent, she re-articulates mainstream visual language and technology in video, installation, and new media works. Alison Nguyen received her B.A. from Brown University. She has presented work at Ann Arbor Film Festival; CROSSROADS presented by San Francisco Cinematheque and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Channels Festival International Biennial of Video Art, Melbourne; International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York; Microscope Gallery, New York and AC Gallery, Beijing, among others. Nguyen has participated in residencies and/or been awarded fellowships from The Institute of Electronic Arts, Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center, and BRIC. In 2018, Nguyen was featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.