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Rather than accelerating toward the cliff, Behar asks us to decelerate. Yet this is not a regressive wish but a progressive one in which life is grounded through a much slower and more considered pace.

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Take a look at the article of curators of the exhibition “Katherine Behar: Data’s Entry”, Fatma Çolakoğlu and Ulya Soley to find out more about the exhibition!

Like clocks, recording devices were everywhere embedded;
everything was being recorded at every moment, like a huge,
infernal Mac Time Machine backup system that created
backups of backups regressing into infinity.
Who would play these back?

—David Cronenberg, Consumed: A Novel

Prolific science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick once declared, “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”[1] Indeed, in these early twenty-first-century days, we are witnessing an overwhelming insanity wrought by an increasingly digital reality. Under these conditions, we try to make sense, and yet, “So strong is our desire for meaning, an innate desire, that we construct meanings where there are none.”[2] As this insanity evolves, artist Katherine Behar uses her practice in questioning, defining, and redefining our present technological and digital affairs. Whether publicly or privately, we attempt to decode the world through virtual encounters and interactions as life accelerates at a staggering rate. The political theory of accelerationism claims that “the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, or critique, nor to await its demise at the hands of its own contradictions, but to accelerate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.”[3] Accelerationism’s overly assertive approach to push capitalism to extremity is evocative of the twentieth-century futurist manifesto: a celebration of speed, strength of the machine, and the instability of modern life.

Behar’s position is quite the opposite: she has coined the phrase “decelerationist aesthetics” to refer to work like her own, in which “the aesthetic properties, proclivities, and performances of objects come to defy the accelerationist imperative to be nimbly individuated.”[4] Within this framework, her recent work essentially deals with the nature of data. She eloquently describes data as “the raw measure of the world and information [as] the world in calculation.”[5] Hence, data is no longer mere data, but becomes information. Claude Shannon, known as the pioneer of information theory, defined information as a probability function with no dimensions, no materiality, and no necessary connection with meaning.[6] So where do we fit? What becomes of all of the weighty, material things in the universe?

Click here to take a look at the exhibition catalogue!

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