Artist asks URI to ‘Imagine when everything about you is known’

Distinguished Visiting International Artist Program hosts Laurie Frick

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |
Laurie Frick
Laurie Frick, an Austin- and New York-based artist, will lecture at the University of Rhode Island this spring as a Distinguished Visiting Artist. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Frick)

KINGSTON, R.I.–February 20, 2019–Laurie Frick, a New York- and Austin-based artist, will give classroom presentations and lectures this spring at the University of Rhode Island as a part of the Distinguished Visiting International Artist Program.

Frick creates innovative pieces based on personal data, like sleep patterns, walking routes and even stress, to reflect a potential future world in which people are evaluated the same way we analyze big data. Using her background in high-technology, Frick creates hand-built work and installations, anticipating the day when patterns of behavior become patterned artworks and the mass of data will predict our lives.

From March 18 to April 1, Frick will lecture, lead hands-on sessions and interact with students in the classroom on subjects like data art and visualization, self-tracking, the phenomenon of the quantified self, data storytelling, ethics in data presentation and artificial intelligence systems and the implications and potential uses of masses of data.

Frick works on one of her pieces
Frick works on one of her pieces. Her artwork is based on personal data, like sleep patterns, walking routes and even stress, to reflect a potential future world where people are evaluated the same way we analyze big data. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Frick)

Frick’s free, public lecture, titled “I want my data!” will take place in the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical & Forensic Sciences, room 100, Wednesday, March 20 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Frick holds a master of fine arts degree from the New York Studio School and a master of business administration from the University of Southern California. She studied at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Frick recently was awarded residencies by Samsung Research and the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Texas.

Associate Professor and Digital Initiatives Librarian Julia Lovett invited Frick to the University. She said she was drawn to Frick’s work because of her focus on the intersection of data and traditional art.

“Her work dovetails with URI’s multiple interdisciplinary data-oriented initiatives, like our new Data Science undergraduate program, recent Big Data Cluster Hire, acquisition of DataSpark RI to the University Libraries, and Big Data Collaborative in the Libraries,” Lovett said. “Laurie’s visit will be an opportunity for URI to engage in conversations about what the explosion of data means to the human experience, and how we might consume data in the future.”

In her own words, Frick is a data artist exploring the bumpy future of data captured about us. This is the decade when humans shift from mysterious beings to big data algorithms, when everything about us will be known. Rather than worry, Frick envisions a time when personal data is a unique glimpse into our hidden personality. Patterns of behavior will become patterned artworks and the mass of data will predict our lives. Using her background in high-technology Frick creates physical works and large scale installations that imagine this completely wired “data-selfie” future.

URI’s Distinguished Visiting Artist Program aims to enrich URI’s cultural life and provide students and faculty with a deeper understanding of arts in contemporary culture. The program is sponsored by the URI Office of the Provost.