#Artistresidency Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet at Bòlit
Throughout their practice Varvara Guljajeva (Tallin) and Mar Canet (Mollet del Vallès, 1981) —Varvara & Mar— have been researching and reflecting the data age of today. Especially they are interested in the virtual world effect on our society, labor culture, and social behavior. Internet is rapidly privatized, controlled, and money-driven. Their ongoing art project «Data Shop» reflect on the critical issues and regaining rights of personal data, which they continued during the residency at Bòlit, Centre d’Art Contemporani. Girona, within The Spur.
«Data Shop» is a shop-like installation which speculates with the idea of having a shop that sells and at the same time stores personal data. The data market is growing exponentially, our data are collected, used, sold, stolen and constantly negotiated. With «Data Shop» Varvara & Mar also want to talk about the value of the data, a suggested research that seeks to make visible the popular Internet sale of personal data by the third parties, while opens to the discussion around the data transparency and how companies as Facebook, Twitter or Google use user’s information.
During The Spur residency the artists expanded their product range and data collection, which can be also seen as an archive. In addition to Spam Data, Data Soup and Data Salat they developed new cans, like Data Cream, Data Sardines, and Data Beans. The first one is video material of theirself-surveillance during 24 hours. The second one is their data from Estonian ID-card, which is most of the information the state has, and the last one is Fitbit data.
Furthermore, the art project has a social dimension developed with the idea of creating discourse through contemporary data body and its’ complexity. During the residency Varvara & Mar conducted «Data Shop» workshop, in which they mapped personal data with the participants. Everyone was encouraged to locate their own personal data, export it, save on a pen-drive and create his/her own data can. The activities were an essential part of their project. The developed workshops with the public, by conducting lectures and debates around the topics related with «Data Shop», were activities has revolved around the data transparency and the value of our personal data. How much do we value our privacy? Which information has more value for us? Is there a correlation between this and its real value?
Varvara & Mar is a duo that locates itself in the field of art and technology and is concerned about the new form of art, innovation, and also the application of knitting in the field of art digital fabbrication. They use and challenge technology in order to explore novel concepts in art and design. Hence, the research they developed within The Spur is an integral part of their creative practice. In addition to kinetic and interactive installations, these artists have also experience with working in public space and with urban media.