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Joseph McAlister

My work commonly revolves around metadata, the small amount of data that can often reveal the most intimate details of our lives. This is something that is rapidly becoming the precursor to debate on whether personal security and safety really exist in the modern day. On scholarship to Goldsmiths; I look to explore this concept within my work by making relatable pieces that create a sense of unease and surprise, using this as a step towards change.

A few months ago my piece ‘You probably live in Horsham, 2015’, touched on these ideas by revealing how metadata, proposed to be collected by the Snoopers Charter, could reveal shockingly accurate information regarding your life, in such detail it was easy to pinpoint where someone would most likely be at one time.

However, my latest piece ‘Meet the Watsons, 2016’ takes a different stance. Based upon the viewers’ public Twitter account; the projection mapped sculptural family will debate your personality as if a real family were judging your every move. Does what they say shock or surprise you? If so, why? I look to highlight how we publicly document elements of our lives, to the extent that we begin to forget just how much detail we include and how completely inanimate machines can pick this up, interpret and get a much deeper understanding of who we are, all in less than ~10 seconds.

Meet the Watsons, 2016
Meet the Watsons, 2016

You can find my other work at joemcalister.com