This workshop proposes to critically examine tracking, guiding and stalking as artistic methods, by looking at approaches within data mining and microhistory. There are two approaches for studying data–looking for patterns and the detection of irregularities or anomalies–which are in fact two sides of the same coin. Both processes involve the search for meaning in a seemingly meaningless sea of data. Perception and experience is relative to the position you take and how you define the borders: much like trying to reorient oneself around an unfamiliar street corner within an unfamiliar city. Microhistory is an approach to writing history that is defined by the reduction of scale of observation in which the study of marginalized characters and events bring out the network of relationships that connects the “micro” to the macro level. Both data mining and microhistory link to a practice of taking fragments, found material and finding ways to link them together, creating a linearity that forms a narrative, but in which the narrative could easily change or be open to new interpretations, depending on where you start. In this workshop we explore how fragments and found material can be used to guide us within our artistic practice. We will follow clues, tracks and trails, look for patterns or anomalies. There will be lectures, readings, discussions and practical work.
Born in Canada, Michelle Teran is an artist working with movement, storytelling, documentary and cartography. She develops artworks–texts, videos, performances, interventions and installations–that repurpose the language of surveillance, mapping and social networks to construct unique scenarios that call conventional power and social relations into question. She currently finishing her dissertation for Future Guides: from information to home, an artistic research project within the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (2010-2014), carried out at The Bergen Academy for Art and Design.