[ISEA2023] Artist Talk: Alexa Bonomo — Memory, Love, and the Handmade in Interactive Data Installations

Artist Statement

Theme Datum – Data Subtheme Symbiotic Individuations

Keywords: Data visualization, new media, interaction design, installations, human computer interaction, empathetic media

A deep dive into a new media arts practice built around the craft of scavenging for data emitted during acts of love and what it means to make digital artifacts on the web “handmade”.

This talk presents a media arts practice intent on revealing data trails from various forms of common technology that embodies handmade and empathetic qualities. Thematically framing data as supplement to memory formation, intimate datasets are sets of data that encapsulates the inner self. The talk explores two works that use real-time data input to display visual output in artistic installation. The first work called Pulse of Anonymous Memories utilizes a live feed of a viewer’s heartrate to animate floating images of “anonymous memories”. The installation is made up of hanging fabric that is illuminated by projection mapped imagery that resembles holograms when in the dark. The second work called Handmade Dataset imagines making datasets between two people of memories as an act of love. The two works explore interactivity between people and their data while carrying out actions that are both tactile and require an empathetical exchange with themselves or another person.

  • Alexa Ann Bonomo is a new media artist and designer located in the San Francsico Bay Area, USA, but her creative work primarily lives on the internet in the form of net art and other community driven projects. Her creative practice is experimental across mediums of creative coding and handmade craft, primarily new methods in printmaking. She both exasperates in existential thought about how she could “revive the Arts & Crafts movement, but for the internet” and and rapidly prototypes small artifacts in the form of websites or large scale installations. Alexa attempts to bestow light upon the unknown of vulnerable data about a self and invoke serenity and safety through the strenuous genuine labor of love through the handmade web. Alexa has taught various alternative and university level courses in digital design and creative coding. Currently she works on a few projects – she curates programming and teaches with Index, developing and curating and an archive and conserving digital artworks with Leonardo, and is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco.