WHAT IS DATAFIELD?
Datafield will be a participation-based artwork initially created and performed for video with a live performance launch. The video artwork will be created for exhibition in September (venue to be confirmed).
The Datafield will be made up of 100 students from Bath Spa in a 10x10 grid, anonymised by wearing second-skin bar chart costumes but showing their individuality and difference through their unique silhouettes. It will then be ‘animated’ through movements which represent the participants’ choices – the video above demonstrates (on a much smaller scale) how this might look.
The work will be created in collaboration between myself and post-graduate research students at Bath University specialising in sociology & maths. We will develop surveys and workshops for the students exploring the impact of information and data overload on the ability to make choices in life, and the results will be interpreted into the costumes & performance.
WHO IS ORGANISING THIS?
Alyson MInkley is an MFA student at Bath Spa who has worked as a teacher and lecturer in Art & Design for more than a decade. Victoria Christodoulides, is a PhD student in sociology at Bath University, and together we will engage with 100+ undergraduate students from Bath Spa University to discuss the impact and possibilities of interpreting data – which we hope will form the basis of the performance, as well as support young people’s mental wellbeing by increasing their confidence to engage with knowledge to help shape their own futures.
WHY AM I DOING IT?
I believe art is a voice of protest and vehicle for social change, and I hope Datafield will help raise awareness of the impact data overload is having on our future generations and possibly even propose some positive therapy.
It has taken a great leap of faith to leave my teaching role to return to education as a student but I am loving it! I have always taught my students to take risks, be curious and care about life and I am trying to do the same. I began my career as an artist, and though I fully intend to continue teaching in some form, I really want my practice back … so this is me trying to be the artist I want to be!
WHere will the money go?
- The most significant part of the budget required is to cover the cost of the suits and the time to tailor them individually to match the data collected in surveys: estimated at £3000
- To record the performance fully I need a camera crew as I cannot film and direct simultaneously: £750
- Aerial footage with a drone to see the participants anonymised to dots in a grid: £500
- I very much want to cover expenses and refreshments for participants and collaborators to thank them for their efforts: £1500
- Fees for additional facilitators for the workshop sessions: £500
- Marketing and promotion budget to raise maximum awareness of the launch event: £600
I will not be taking a fee for myself, nor will my collaborators – in fact I will be investing my own savings, such as I have. We have made applications to funding streams at both Universities involved and are hopeful that we may be successful with these.
The reward is philanthropy; you are investing in an artwork! Everyone will be invited to the launch event and donations over £100 will receive a signed DVD of the video work. Bids can be made for the second-skin suits after the event and any additional funds raised will be invested back into my next art project using VR tracking equipment.
PROGRESS & YOUR HELP TO SUcCESS
Please help me to make this project happen and be successful – any donation, however small, will help. If you would buy me a drink in the pub to wish me well in my new career then just pledge the money for that and save my liver!
Just as importantly, please share my appeal for support – maybe you are in contact with other people who remember me, or who I have helped get somewhere in their career or just someone who loves seeing art happen - tag them and share, please. Small steps make big things happen.
Find me on Instagram or Facebook and I have a new website launching soon where I will update progress on the project – find the link from my Instagram.