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The Machine is Working: Yvette James


The Machine is Working: Yvette James

12 May 2023 – 9 Jul 2023

Artist: Yvette James

We are all components of our environments. We leave traces of our bodies in each space we inhabit. But what are the consequences of this within the information age, where data companies dredge our biometric information and export it into unknown servers across the globe?

Before the digital boom, we could confine and locate the ecologies we engage with as being in immediate proximity to us. Now, our fragments are flying across fibre optic cables at a rate of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day.

Through sculptural constructions of warped body parts cast in aluminium paired with unidentifiable liquids, Yvette James' work is a fleshy representation of biometric data mining. The intangibility of data systems makes it difficult to comprehend the gravity of digitisation. By giving these processes physical form, Yvette’s work focuses on the realities and consequences of machine learning.

Comprehending our bodies as digital fodder is counterintuitive: we understand our existence as physical mass in spacetime. Yet digital recordings of us which have been reconfigured in binary and stored across the globe are quantitative replications of us.

To express these processes in physical space, Yvette combines abject bodies with sci-fi horror archetypes. Imagery of alien-like landscapes with anthropomorphic interjections communicate the repercussions biometric data mining has on us.

Image: Yvette James, The Machine is Working (detail), 2022-23, mixed media.

Gallery Details

Incinerator Gallery
180 Holmes Road
Aberfeldie VIC 3040
T: 03 9243 1750
E: incinerator@mvcc.vic.gov.au
W: incineratorgallery.com.au

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am to 4pm 
Closed public holidays and during exhibition changeovers
Entry is Free

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Gallery Info

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.