Zach Blas, Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033, featuring Cassils. HD film still, 2018.
Commissioned by Gasworks, Art in General, and MU. Courtesy of the Artist.
Guest edited by Brian Michael Murphy (Bennington College) and Kris Paulsen (The Ohio State University), this special issue of Media-N features articles, artist projects, reviews, and an interview that address the ways that the material conditions of data and art are shifting, and how thinkers, artists, and scholars can offer crucial scaffolding for understanding how we arrived here. Our contributors present prehistories of data models we take for granted and provide historical contexts that clarify what is new and what is not, helping us to see where we now might be headed. NFTs, DNA data, the sensuous traces of e-waste, facial recognition software trained on marginalized subjects, and the institutionalized processes of dispossessing human subjects from their colonial contexts all present ways in which data comes to have an afterlife that haunts our present and potential futures.