Title: Katherine Behar: Backups (Exhibition)
Special thanks to Ellie Krakow, Flavia Arcuri, Sarah Wheeler, the students, faculty, staff, and Department of Arts at Framingham State University and the FSU Art and Ideas Program. Additional thanks to Tim Laun, Carlos Rigau, Sarah Watson, Hunter College Galleries, Lynn Sullivan, David Cecchetto, Alex Golden, and Nicole Companik.
Photography: Ellie Krakow for Mazmanian Gallery
Some works in the exhibition show the ways countless copies clog consumer culture, while others consider how, from apps to AIs, technologies of automation increasingly stand in not only for people, but also for humanity. Shelf Life finds remnants of an alternative reality amidst generations of discarded designs stashed on shelves. Correspondingly, in Modeling Big Data, a data profilethat is, a record of one's online activitiesturns into an overgrown entity with compulsive behaviors of its own. Likewise, in Autoresponder.exe, an app that automates the simple task of replying to emails keeps business running as usual while all else seems lost. Finally, giving so-called encrypted backups a twist, Knock Knock shows two Alexasthemselves proxies for human assistantsentertaining each other in a cryptographic guessing game that exceeds both human intelligence and human patience.
In Backups, Behar offers us a chance to "revert to backup," that is, to air out our accounts, reevaluate our discarded drafts and duplicates, and consider what of ourselves our backups promise to replace or restore.