Digital | Utah Artists - N

Zachary Norman

Zachary Norman is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who lives and works in Salt Lake City. He is the co-founder of the art collective EIC. In 2016, their publication, DELIBERATE OPERATIONS 3, was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s Artist Book Collection. Norman is the co-recipient of a New Frontiers Grant from Indiana University for his research on computational photography. His work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Exhibitions of his work include Present Company (NYC), Chicago Expo (Chicago, IL), Aperture Foundation (NYC), Webber Gallery Space (London, UK) and Steinsland Berliner Gallery (Stockholm, Sweden). Norman is a current artist-in-residence at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

Artist Statement

Following the 2016 election, information scientists, librarians, and laypeople began to backup or mirror publicly-available government datasets from institutions such as the EPA, NOAA and NASA onto private servers and personal computers. This was done in response to the growing concern that data which confirms the reality of anthropogenic global warming might be subject to manipulation, repression, or erasure by the current administration. Endangered Data represents an algorithm that can be used to preserve and transmit this vulnerable data by storing it within the pixels of digital images and videos using an encryption method known as steganography. Storing the data within the pixels of images protects against attempts at manipulation or erasure. Because the data is hidden within images, it can also be transmitted surreptitiously and retrieved using a decryption algorithm. Lastly, the steganography algorithm can be adjusted; the user has control over which pixels the data is stored within and by how much the color of the pixel is shifted. This helps visualize the potentially catastrophic outcomes implied by the data itself, creating both metaphor and meaning through the image.



Categories: Digital | Utah Artists - N

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