DEL? No, wait! REW

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

Student Michaela Lakova
Graduation Year
Featured image File:File:Img 1 copy.png
Work Description DEL?No, wait!REW is automatized system, which recovers files from hard drives without the consent or the knowledge of the previous owners, who presume their content has been forever deleted.

DEL?No, wait!REW asks is it possible to delete information in the digital age? Whether our storage devices are locally present (hard drives) or dislocated (the cloud), can we ever be certain our data has been permanently deleted? In the ongoing conversation around the impossibility of erasing digital traces, what role do we take? Are we plunderers, interpreters or mediators?

Bio Michaela Lakova(BG) is a visual artist who takes a lost and found approach to media.

Her field of research and practice involves catchy bits and bytes of errors, systems malfunction and the inevitable generation of data traces and its problematic resistance to deletion.


Graph 2.pdf

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The installation is displayed in a dark space. A stream of light is cast by the screens and a light table. At the center of the space cold steel controller is placed, a reminiscent of industrial machine. The controller has two buttons: Delete and Save@; delete enables the option to remove permanently a file from the system; save@ allows to upload this file online. Once the save option is chosen a file gets published online. You can visit the domain of the saved files on-->

Generative koplets & [Err_booklet]

"Generative koplets" and Err booklet transcribe the process, from which DEL?No, wait!REW emerged.

In an installation piece three CRT TVs are placed next to each other, displaying the Generative koplet videos#1,#2 and 3 in a loop, forming an almost sculptural piece. Two of the video works consist of textual and pictorial fragments of retrieved data from the hard drives. Generative_koplet#1 consists of an array of abstract visuals of various maps, cities and coordinates contrasted by their generative black and white quality.The soundtrack of the videos is a slightly distorted sound from a powered up and spinning hard drive recorded from the interior of the drive and drawing its presence into the physical world. Generative_koplet#2 depicts a production line of workers in a factory disassembling pineapples in Ghana,emotionless in their everyday routine and presented in a semi-documentary style.
Generative_koplet#3 serves as a behind-the-scenes view of the recovery process, where I positioned myself at the center, placing the hard drive into an ATA hard drive case and running the recovery software documenting every step of mine. This meta-video provides an inside look into a common procedure of repetitive acts in an attempt to perform this rather trivial action.

The [Err] Booklet is a visual assemblage of found images from the mentioned hard drives, Internet materials related to the research topic and photographs I took during the process of writing the thesis. This booklet aims to trace back the process of data recovery, display and potentially erase lost and found artifacts of data. It is also a work log of personal thoughts, observations, concerns and frustrations, which surpasses the actual process.