Data Bodies: Anatomical Art and Digital Trace

Data Bodies: Anatomical Art And Digital Trace Exhibition is available to SCU students at the Lismore Library or online.

This exploration by Vicky Attenborough showcases traditional life drawing in collaboration with digital tools and techniques to produce abstract data visualisations.

Interview with artist Vicki Attenborough

Artist Statement

In this time of a pandemic, galleries and exhibition spaces as we know them are changing, becoming more dependent on digital technologies due to lockdowns and restrictions on public space. In recent years, my practice has similarly “gone digital.” What was once an interest in life drawing has now become an obsession with translation; with how drawing can be extended through digital tools, less in terms of “close observation” than in mapping, re-visualising and translating data. 

This exhibition asks: “Can life drawing be a form of data mining?” Today, almost every activity that we engage in leaves behind oceans of data, often without us even knowing it. I, however, purposely capture the data as I go about my practice, whether in the form of life drawing with stylus and tablet, using two and three-dimensional design software to manipulate digital images of my work, or by recording my daily work hours on a spreadsheet.  By re-purposing this data to generate “portraits” – anthropomorphic data graphs – my practice explores the many ways our data can be manipulated and imagined. Used together, traditional fine art and contemporary digital techniques can extend and transform our conceptions of a “life drawing” practice, challenging easy distinctions between virtual and public space; between digital and analogue realities.