Investment Opportunity, yoha 2010
Database Documentary is a long-term investigation that seeks to understand how databases change our conduct. The initial research located itself within health databases and was initiated through discussions with Polly Moseley who was working with Liverpool Primary Care Trust trying to initiate a year of art and well being. Invisible Airs also grew out of database documentary.
The principle questions explored:
How do the creation and implementation of database management systems (DBMS) affect the conduct of the authors and commissioners of such systems?
How can people that are effected and represented by the abstract models of health embodied in DBMS critically engage with their processes?
How can art present information derived from these databases in such a way that it would allow people to critically reflect on well-being in the city?
What art methods can artists offer to the PCT that would better enable the PCT to present complex datasets to the public to improve their own and their families’ health and well being ?
How can the public critically engage with the systems that manufacture such datasets, allowing for greater public participation and understanding of well-being in Liverpool
What follows is an excerpt from our introduction to "How can NHS databases be a vehicle for mass participation art projects that critically encourage well-being?"
John Grierson defined the term documentary in the 1920's before making films for the General Post Office(GPO). He dubbed this new genre a“creative treatment of reality”. His interest, like that of YoHa, was in a socially active aesthetics. Since the 1930's we have witnessed documentary's ability to influence public perception.
Examples range from Leni Riefenstahl’s fascist work ‘Triumph of the Will’ (1935) aestheticising politics and ascribing the medium’s power to a particular personality, to current work on the Afghanistan conflict trying to critique the political status quo. The energies contained within the documentary can empower governance and its mirrors in a multitude of ways but at the same time they may make an interesting, innovative and popular art possible.
Leni Riefenstahl, film editing.
Mortality Rates Scotland.
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