datastream (Minebank Run)

In this ongoing project, I am interested in creating a portrait of a site (Minebank Run in Parkville, Maryland), and the ways in which we can know a space through data, and the many ways through which data-driven ways of knowing will fail us. There is a contemporary inclination to assume we can truly know things (ourselves, the natural environment, economic trends, image-making techniques) through machine learning or traditional mathematical algorithms. However, these data-driven models don’t accurately model out projections or create understanding, but instead create a compressed average of the data provided.  

I am using data from the US Geological Survey, satellite imagery, 3D scans, and data sourced from other governmental agencies, ostensibly to illustrate this site, but ultimately to complicate the idea that we can use data to fully understand the more-than-human world. The data, and digital media more broadly, is overlaid on the physical environment as a fourth dimension, expanding our sense of time and space from the physical now to the past, future, and far-flung. 

When I visit a place I will often document it or learn about it though online listing and ephemera left by others- I’m trying to control it through understanding and visual data, making it knowable. These recordings are a means of control, but the display, along with the data displayed, slips through our ability to fully control and understand the many elements in this site.