Other Forms of Regulation and Control
16 x 33 x 8 In
Hygrothermographs are inconspicuous mechanical machines used by museums and galleries to track the temperature and humidity of an exhibition space, to protect artworks. Other Forms of Regulation and Control is an intervention in which three of these machines are moved from the periphery to the center, I replaced the regulation human hair in these machines with hair from the three “scientifically” classified ethno-hair categories: “Afro,” “Asian,” and “Caucasian.”
By rupturing museum protocols, I question methods of monitoring public spaces, while also revealing how the idea of “race” and “data” always needs to be extrapolated and untangled. Audiences set this project in motion–people entering the exhibition space affect the humidity and readings on the graphs.
Each week’s visitors will be able to compare the new data as it goes up on the walls.Changing elements of the machine to reference race, and then presenting the data collected for comparative analysis, the work creates a dialogue about the engineering of data, in our data driven society. This is especially relevant in the context of perceived racial difference; ‘which machine will be more sensitive to change, and how is data interpreted and used?’, asking us to think about how data can be used to implement agendas and for longer-term social control.
There is my usual cheeky sense of playfulness, as the machines used to protect an artwork become the artwork.
You can see further installation images here.