>> Machine Readable

a solo exhibition by roopa vasudevan_

vox populi, philadelphia, PA ~ june 11 - july 18, 2021

>> About the Exhibition

Machine Readable is a body of work exploring the ways in which human identity and behavior is altered, flattened, and compartmentalized to fit the demands of both the algorithms and technology that pervade our everyday lives, as well as those responsible for their production. Part of an ongoing series of research-based projects, this exhibition asks us to consider the impact of our increasingly digitized way of life on how we view ourselves and others, how we shape ourselves to adhere to the rigid rules and structures required of an inflexible and binary system, and how technology ends up creating and ossifying social categories and boundaries.

As more and more of our lives have moved into virtual contexts, we have come to primarily see others through technological mediation: the lens of a camera, the flat screen of a device, the data from a web search. What has technology done to our conceptions of human interaction and agency? What do we prioritize in our everyday decision making—technology or each other? How do we learn to do what the machine asks of us, and why doesn’t it really work the other way around?

Machine Readable was on view at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA between June 11 and July 18, 2021.

>> Virtual Tour

The following projects are meant to be activated with a smartphone in the gallery. If you would like to view what they look like through a device, click below to watch recordings of the interaction.

To download the dataDouble browser extension for Chrome or Firefox, click below for more information.

View documentation of the Syntax Error video installation by clicking below.

>> Purchase Work

Works in connection with Machine Readable are available for purchase from the Vox Populi store. Support independent arts spaces and artists!

>> About the Artist

Roopa Vasudevan (she/her) is a media artist, computer programmer and researcher, currently based in the part of Lenapehoking now known as Philadelphia. Her practice examines social and technological defaults; interrogates rules, conventions and protocols that we often ignore or take for granted; and centers humanity and community in explorations of technology’s impacts on society. Her work has been supported by Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY), ABC No Rio (New York, NY), the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (Haverford, PA), SOHO20 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), SPACES (Cleveland, OH), China Residencies, and Flux Factory (Queens, NY). She is a current Vox Populi member, and is pursuing her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at Penn, where she researches the complex and involved relationships between new media artists and the technology industry.

Support for Machine Readable was provided by the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.