Xerox printed, perfect bound
Downloads is a two-volume set containing every visual file from the downloads folder of a shared computer. Created in the days following Edward Snowden’s leak of classified national defense documents, the books explore the intersection of security, surveillance, and personal responsibility. Rather than government documents, the computer’s location in a graduate department at an art school skews the data towards art theory, practice, and pedagogy, placing the book in a self-reflexive dialogue. The documents range from invoices and receipts to entire books and completed works of art, demystifying the artistic process and exhibiting the unglamorous reality of life as an artist.
The books are more than a simple violation of privacy since authorship and ownership are complicated in a downloads folder. Whose privacy is breached — the student who downloaded a facsimile of a book, or the author whose entire book was scanned and uploaded?
As an archive, Downloads, presents the reader a rich variety of materials from which to piece together myriad narratives all tethered by their shared source on a single computer. The documents are presented alphabetically by original filename with a screenshot of the file directory serving as an index.