Aarati Akkapeddi

The Stinnett Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection Award Winner

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After Image, 2019
54 seconds

Aarati Akkapeddi (b. 1992, NJ; lives Blauvelt, NY) is an Indian-American cross-disciplinary artist interested in the poetics and politics of datasets. Akkapeddi received a BID from Pratt Institute and an MFA in design and technology from Parsons School of Design, The New School, both New York. Aakapeddi has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Lower East Side Printshop and NYC Media Lab, both New York; and OFFICE IMPART, Berlin. Akkapeddi has held artist residencies at Beam Center, Lower East Side Printshop and NYC Media Lab, all New York; as well as ETOPIA Center for Art & Technology, Zaragoza, Spain. Akkapeddi teaches in the BFA Design & Technology and MS Data Visualization departments at Parsons School of Design.

Statement from the Artist:
I work with personal and institutional archives to explore how identities and histories are shaped by different methods of collecting, preserving and presenting data. I combine code, machine learning, analog photography and printmaking techniques to navigate these themes, often using family photographs and archival images as source material. As a first-generation American, family photographs are signifiers of family history and of personal, distant cultural identity. I use algorithms designed for applications such as facial recognition to create performative rituals of information extraction, navigating themes of intergenerational memory, loss and identity. “After Image” is a series of experiments with an archive of family photographs in relation to a larger archive of South Indian studio photographs from the Studies in Tamil Studio Archives and Society. I question the notion of collective and individual identity and highlight the complexity of the image as a data point.