Icon Feb 13, 2010

Data Miner (Dinges, 2008)

Amongst Michael Dinges “Dead Laptop Series” is this gem: “Data Miner“. The drawing is engraved plastic and acrylic paint on a dead apple laptop (hence the series name). The illustration is of an octopus with scrolls which says: “Of all the creatures in the ocean, beware those feeding on Brownian motion”, and around the edge is written: “The innoncent have nothing to fear from the surveillance of desire”1.

The artist provides the following terminology for Brownian motion: “a physics term used to describe a particle in constant erratic motion” and Data mining: “the non-trivial extraction of previously unknown, and potentially useful, information from data”2. Brownian motion is often applied to non-physical things, such as the stock market3, and in this case probably refers to the apparently random motion of data generated by the behaviour of people online4.

  1. Dinges, Michael, ‘Dead Laptop Series’, http://www.michaeldinges.com/Image.asp?ImageID=488209&apid=1&gpid=1&ipid=1&AKey=CDS8CGNT (Accessed: 13th Jan 2009).
  2. ibid.
  3. Brownian Motion, Wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion
  4. Yes, you are a particle too.