Hartnett Gallery presented Alison Nguyen’s i broke my mind at the link in my bio in a virtual exhibition that featured a new video work and screenings of her moving image work from 2017 to the present full. 

i broke my mind at the link in my bio was Hartnett’s first virtual exhibition centered 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. 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.

i broke my mind at the link in my bio was curated by Almudena Escobar López

Click here for the press release.


screening room

more information about the films here


followed by discussion with Technical Director and Cinematographer Jonathan Beilin, Composer Scott Kiernan, and Script editor and Research Assistant Rachel Pontbriand

Andra8 is a simulacral subaltern working a variety of online jobs: as a virtual assistant, a data cleanser, a content creator, an emoji artist, and a life coach. Andra8 will be on “the main screen” with very few client parameters speculating on the politics of digital labor, the role of women and minorities in today’s art economy, and the underlying systems of algorithmic control, topics she has not been invited to speak about in the past.

The Lecture/Performance is an extension of Nguyen’s new work my favorite software is being here which centers on Andra8’s isolated existence and labor in a photogenic and all-surveilled virtual void.

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.

read Alison Nguyen’s interview by Ryan Maciel