If That Then What?
As I wondered what to make my second post about, it struck me to make a small post connecting some technology and artists to the working practice behind the ‘Error and Power’ residency.
Of course there have been many artworks that use cataloguing as their basis, not least that of Hilda and Bernd Becher but for me, and the unskilled coders amongst us, it was the advent of ‘If That Then This’ (ifttt.com) that allowed the automation a series of mundane tasks and getting the ‘Internet of Things’ talking to each other that really kicked things off. With IFTTT it proved possible to connect a Twitter stream to DropBox account and make magic happen.
All of a sudden it was possible to download every cat posted to Reddit with just a few clicks. And it would carry on doing it too, until it was told to stop.
After a stop start collection of 255,307 cats, I think that’s quite enough.
That brings me onto a project that has been running since early 2015, the collection and posting to a Tumblr powered website, every iPhone posted to eBay. At the time of writing this had produced some 154,650 posts: https://somebodyelsesiphone.tumblr.com/
It was this automated mass collection of imagery that underlies my proposed work for this Artcore residency.
Thinking it over now, this iPhone collection does make me think of work by Penelope Umbrico.
Recently she did a great talk for ScreenWalks.com showing her desktop and working practices, which can be watched back on this link: