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Locale: Richmond, VA, The Use of Data Collection in Participatory Art to Express Community, Place, and the Everyday Open Access

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AbstractLocale: Richmond, VAThe Use of Data Collection in Participatory Art to Express Community, Place, and the Everyday This thesis proposes an art exhibition that explores place making using some of the latest in data collection technology and extensive visitor interaction. Artworks display data collected from the area of Richmond, VA. Four representations of place are used to select artworks: 1. natural landscape, 2. built landscape, 3. patterns and traffic, and 4. people and localized social media, with a particular emphasis on participatory works. The research behind this thesis addresses a multitude of ideas to include place making, site conditioned art, civic engagement, the use of data in art, and the value of technology in modern society. Locale attempts to address the changing nature of society’s interaction with technology and the ways an exhibition (and the related art institution) can be seen as a progressive and connected entity in that discourse. The exhibition utilizes dynamic works to create an experience around these subjects that is simultaneously personal and public, multi-sensory, immersive, participatory, unexpected, and engaging.The exhibition will be encountered in neighborhoods throughout the city and at the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art. My research addresses challenges of a site specific, multi-location exhibition and the use of data tracking technologies. Extensive use of site research, urban developments in the area of Richmond, VA, and area demographics have informed the placement of public art works in central urban neighborhoods.

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