Mary V. Marsh, “Here/Hear: Meta Data Mining”

Mary V. Marsh
Oakland, California

Here/Hear: Meta Data Mining
Photopolymer intaglio, letterpress polymer, pressure printing, handset type on Rives BFK. Tyvek spine after Hedi Kyle, cloth covers, Tyvek slipcover.
8.5 x 5.75 x .75

Artist Statement

My work explores the intersection of mass media and our habits of its consumption. I am thinking about how information is delivered, how it is perceived and the gap between presentation and meaning. Each new format for communication transforms the nature of our thinking. Observations in journal drawings and diary entries, and notes from research are a source for prints, artist’s books and assemblages. My experience of working in libraries, materials collected, concepts experienced, and the evolving technology are a foundation for projects and ideas.

The work expresses nostalgia and anxiety produced by constant and rapid change. In the artist’s book, Here/Hear: Meta Data Mining, cell towers disguised as trees represent our need for constant connection, our desire for infrastructure to be invisible, and our complicity in the data extraction industry. They are silent witnesses to our movements and interactions, enabling the transformation of our attention into commerce. The intaglio-printed cell towers as trees evoke a romantic and iconic view. Screenshots of maps, and texts exchanged by Mary Marsh and Tony Bellaver show our habits of sharing our location and plans. Letterpress printed folios adhered to an accordion-fold spine, holes cut into pages reveal wires and data, unseen systems in our infrastructure.