katherine behar
katherine behar: this.construction();
art: Katherine Behar: Backups (Exhibition)
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Katherine Behar: Backups, a solo exhibition of sculpture, video, and interactive works, was presented by Mazmanian Gallery. While digital culture constantly generates alternative copies or "backups" to minimize risk, Behar attempts to unlock the lost potential in these stocks of substitutes. At once humorous and critical, her artworks reinvent the data and devices we have abandoned to storage.

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 profile—that is, a record of one's online activities—turns 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 Alexas—themselves proxies for human assistants—entertaining 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.