In the installation Search Quarry, Anne Haaning explores recent developments in the ways in which data is mined, brokered, analysed and used for strategic ends.
It features the rigging of a 3D avatar’s face (a stage required if the avatar is subsequently to be manipulated using motion capture technology). Here, however, the mouth has been replaced with an open quarry, resulting in her being ‘gagged’ by the petrification: data is usually harvested via online apps and services designed for users to communicate and express themselves.
The title Search Quarry ties data extraction to a long history of resource extraction and imperial oppression, questioning whether the materials that built these omnipresent extraction technologies can be separated from the colonial ideologies that operate them. An example of such a material is aluminium, mass production of which became possible through the extraction of cryolite, a mineral mined in Greenland by the Danes between 1857 and 1985.