Datasets vs Mindsets

Curatorial project: Series of online/offline events (exhibition, conference, performance program)
"Datasets vs Mindsets: Post-Soviet Explorations of the Digital Control Society" documents the artistic exploration of boundaries between digital and physical spaces, and the spectrum of phenomena and consequences of the implementations of algorithmic regulation and control tools in the post-Soviet context.

The project aims to present several generations of new media artists from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

A huge part of the processes around us are digitized, thus becoming datasets that can be analyzed by a variety of dynamic algorithms which not only recognize and process incoming information, but also identify and predict patterns of change at speeds and scales inaccessible to human perception.

For many post-Soviet countries, digitalisation is proclaimed as one of the main national priorities. However, the local context transforms the understanding and implementation of digital tools in its own way. These algorithms, often based on machine learning, have a number of limitations and the so-called biases, which they have learned from the data on which they were trained
Despite the limitations, these algorithms are already forming feedback loops, influencing what is happening in the physical world, and also creating opportunities for various forms of so-called algorithmic control.

This online exhibition allows visitors to experience two modalities of surveillance: they can surveil or be surveilled. Using facial recognition technology in the interactive interface of the website presents a critical approach to understanding this technology within the procedural rhetoric.

The navigation responds to a dynamic system: it recognizes user emotions while they are examining the works and responds to a statistical analysis that compares their individual experiences to previous visitors.

"Datasets vs Mindsets" is part of Ars Electronica Festival 2020.


Curators: Helena Nikonole & Olga Vad

Project Credits / Acknowledgements

Exhibition participants: Anastasia Alekhina, Medina Bazargali, Aristarkh Chernyshev, Ellina Genadievna, Daria Goffman, Uliana Golub, Valentin Fetisov, Egor Kraft, Victor Krasnov, Evgeny Kruglov, Anvar Musrepov, Kate Pryanik, Sasha Serechenko, Vita Shakhnovich, Andrey Smirnov, Ekaterina Trubina, ::vtol::.
Performance program: Katarina Melik-Ovsepian, Nikita Prudnikov (monekeer), Maria Molokova, Yulia Glukhova aka holoherz, EOLab (Varya Lisokot, Dmitriy Vikhorknov, Vladimir Miller, Ildar Iakubov, Kiberchaika)
Conference speakers: Dmitry Bulatov, Lev Manovich, Alla Mitrofanova, Helena Nikonole, Daria Parkhomenko, Yanina Prudenko, Olga Vad
Technical partner: Open Production Group
Special thanks to Electromuseum (Moscow) and personally Aristarkh Chernyshev and Inna Astafieva
We express our deep gratitude to Alexei Shulgin, Aristarkh Chernyshev and Andrey Smirnov for their teaching and curatorial activities which formed the basis of a community of young media and sound artists in Russia and Post-Soviet space.