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5 Things We Learned... Pauline Batista



I met Pauline Batista in 2017 after seeing her MFA thesis show at Goldsmiths, University of London. She exhibited a series of photographs entitled The Algorithm Will See You Now, which explored the relationship between the human body and technology through physical, medically-invasive forms. Her photographic and mixed-media works delve deep into these vulnerable and - sometimes - uncomfortable interactions between physical bodies, data, transparency of knowledge and tech. They propose new information systems for decoding data while questioning the impulse to render information and physical bodies transparent. According to Pauline, “models and patterns are often used in order to reveal, yet these representations of our bodies and data further accumulate layers of information, which we must decode, often with the help of a key or an authority on the subject….in a world filled with transparency, we are confronted with more information: more information than can possibly be digested. Access to the decoded data becomes the new currency of power.”

Originally from Brazil, Pauline is currently based in London. Her work has been profiled in publications such as Veja and RG as well as Elephant Art Magazine, which featured her as an “artist to watch” in 2017. This year, the artist participated in Representatives at Oxford University and in She Performs, a platform for “female artists to show work and discuss current social issues surrounding the questions of feminism and gender relations”. In 2019, the artist will head to Finland for the ARTELES Residency as well as a three month research project on pink-noise frequency at Residency Unlimited (RU) in New York.

Here are 5 Things We Learned about Pauline.

What made you...you?

Being out of my comfort zone. Sometimes life forces you, but I often throw myself into my own abysses. Moving to new cities, learning new languages and just attempting something I have no clue about. All you need is curiosity. 

When are you happiest?

When I'm in nature, especially the beach. Hiking through a forest or staring at the ocean really put things into perspective for me as well as gives me respite from the sensory and information overload of life today. 

Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?

I would rather have a muse although I am not a big fan of this terminology. Inspiration comes to me via several channels, forming a network of objects, places, people and moods which serve as ‘muses’ to me. 

Who do you admire?

Philosopher and Professor Rosi Braidotti. Not only has her work and book, The Posthuman, influenced my research; (but), seeing one of her talks was sort of like watching a rock star on stage. She manages to be both inspiring, funny and light while at the same time tackling some of the key issues we are facing with a true sense of urgency. 

What is important?

Time. Specifically, creating your own time and pace. Every artist has their processes, but for me, taking time to think through concerns at the root of my practice and allowing time for ideas to settle in is key. Also time to not work, not do and not be productive. Most of us are always trying to optimize our time and lives for more productivity, I think the opposite of that is sometimes key. To simply be and not participate in any form of productive economy, which is increasingly difficult to do.

Follow Pauline and her work on Instagram @paulinebatista


Images from left to right: Pauline Batista by Geoff Moore; Detail of Genetic Jenga as a Zero-Sum Game, 2017 (photo by Rocio Chacon); Untitled (WIP); Research image - detail of Robot Surgery; Batista’s The Algorithm Will See You Now III, 2017; Research image - Quid Software Network Visualization