introduction
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Brooke Singer
Paul Cunningham

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artist statement | technical statement | process



artist statement
Self-Portrait version 2.0 (SPv2) is an online application that is available at www.spv2.net. SPv2 explores how identity can be constructed and perceived through data collection in cyberspace. Some data in cyberspace we consciously create to represent ourselves (emails and web sites, for instance). Other bits of data accumulate without our efforts--and many times without our knowledge--tracing certain of our interactions both in the physical and virtual worlds. Because of this data we do not willingly disperse, our cyber image is not always in our control nor ever fully knowable to us. SPv2 explores to what extent we are accessible online and what we may look like through mining Internet data.

When you enter SPv2, you can choose to activate data from three categories: DataMine, DataWake and Join Me!. As a user makes their selections, SPv2 grabs data from the chosen source, translates the data into a visual representation and displays it to the user. One may layer the various visual depictions to eventually achieve data chaos.

SPv2 updates the genre of portraiture for the information age. In the history of Western art, portraiture traditionally fulfilled the purpose of reinforcing wealth and power. SPv2 is an inversion of this power structure; it results in a reconstruction of the self after it has been digitized, analyzed, shared and sold.