Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality

2022–23 Ticket Information

FAB Gallery, 1-1 Fine Arts Building
University of Alberta
(780) 492-2081

Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Friday

Admission is free. Masks are strongly recommended indoors on the University of Alberta campus.

Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality

February 21 – March 18, 2023

FAB Gallery
Both Floors

Opening Reception

University of Alberta faculty, staff, students and invited guests
Friday, March 3
FAB Gallery

Curators: Marilène Oliver & Lianne McTavish

Artists: Dana Dal Bo, Chelsey Campbell, J.R. Carpenter, Nicholas Hertz, Bernd Hildebrandt, Liz Ingram, Gary James Joynes, Lisa Mayes, Stephan Moore, aAron Munson, Marilène Oliver, Scott Smallwood

KTVR Research Team & Collaborators: Lianne McTavish, Gillian Harvey, Walter Ostrandrer, Jiayi Ye, Chelsey Campbell, Bhagyashree Zala, Kumar Punithakumar, Peter Seres, Pierre Boulanger, Kirtan Shah, Dhara Pancholi, Thomas Powell, Mari Alice Conrad, Catherine Bevan, Avyarthana Dey, Emma Rockwell and Addison Primeau. Singing by Madison Berger, Lili Davidson, Tynan Thorogood, Andrew Whiteside, and members of the University of Alberta’s Madrigal Singers.

About the Exhibit

We are constantly warned that our personal data is vulnerable. We are told that it is used and abused by artificial intelligence, giant tech corporations, and controlling governments. But do we really understand what “our data” consists of and what can be done with it by both ourselves and others? Is it possible to unravel the complex entanglements of data gathering and automated processing technologies in order to see and understand what sociologist Deborah Lupton terms our “human data assemblages” in meaningful ways?

The research project Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality has focused on these questions since 2019. The project started with a series of interdisciplinary symposia, publications, research-creation projects. It now culminates with a public exhibition of seven new virtual reality artworks and installations. Two of the artworks, My Data Body and Your Data Body, were created by a research team at the University of Alberta and the others were produced by artists invited to intervene in the medical datasets produced by this team, create new ones by having their own bodies scanned, and thereby reshape, expand, and diversify the virtual data body.

The phrase Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality is based on the Greek philosophical maxim Nosce te Ipsom, which first appeared in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, where it was a reminder to know one’s place within a social hierarchy. Later, Nosce te Ispom was included in anatomical engravings as a reminder to know thyself as divine creation of God. Nodding directly to this history of anatomical art, the Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality project encourages us to know ourselves as digital subjects and objects.

Art & Design News

Support Fine Arts