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Chris oakley
The Catalogue
Art vidéo | dv | color | 5'42'' | United Kingdom | 2004
"The Catalogue" explores the codification of humanity on behalf of corporate entities within the consumer environment. As consumers, our lifestyles have become the object of corporate scrutiny. The loyalty card, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip, and facial recognition software as means of corporate data harvesting have achieved real-time tracking capabilities. Data brokers can show where we are, what we are buying, and what our wants will be. The potential already exists to extend this data beyond our purchasing habits and lifestyle choices to our very fabric, with predictions of our future health prospects made en masse via analysis of the data from our weekly shop. The Catalogue offers an analogue to this process, forcing the viewer into the position of a remote and dispassionate agency, observing humanity as a series of units, whose value is defined by their spending capacity and future needs.
Chris Oakley?s concerns span the mass media, amateur photography, mass communications, data harvesting, and the influence of these disparate phenomena upon our behaviours, interactions, and our relationship with our bodies themselves. For Oakley, the domestic camcorder, the CCTV camera and the television documentary are seen as parallel phenomena; both provide a point of view representing a mediated world, a limited reality without veracity. In a critical analogy to the processes employed by elements of the mass media, he is fascinated by a process of fictionalising material captured from life, attempting to define the space between actuality and representation, the point at which the white noise of lived experience is made to conform to strict linear narrative. Influenced at an early stage by process art and the Structuralist and Materialist filmmakers in particular, he has developed a vocabulary combining a process-oriented approach with broader cultural references. Appropriating techniques from the television newsroom and film production and combining these with a vérité viewpoint, the process is as much about framing the viewer as the subject. In the past 2 years, Oakley?s works have received widespread media attention within Europe and beyond. His works have been shown alongside those of Tony Oursler, Jozef Robakowski, Kutlug Ataman and Pipilotti Rist. His recent achievements have included exhibition at a number of major international media arts festivals and exhibitions; these include the EXIT festival in Paris, Transmediale .05 in Berlin, exhibition of work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and via video billboards on Sunset Strip, and a prize win at the Media Forum of the Moscow International Film Festival in 2005. Biography 1971 Born in Chester 1988 - 1990 North East Wales Institute 1990-93 School of Art & Design, University of Wolverhampton 1993-95 Kent Institute of Art & Design