memory hacking

In this experiment I hacked my way into an old non-functioning iphone4.

goal: perform manual data retrieval by connecting with the “inside” of the machine. 

why: respond to the difficult and expensive process of data retrieval when devices - designed for obsolescence - break. Provide alternatives. 

process: I kept the broken phone with its cracked screen around and buried it back into the box it originally came in knowing that inside it, in its memory were my own. By hacking into it I got close to those memories in the act of breaking into this phone and zooming in to see what was inside. 

In this experiment/performance I cracked the glass and plucked out small nails keeping the frame of the phone together. I observed, through the microscope, the small parts I was able to peel off to try to find my lost data / and find new data that can get me closer to understanding the parts that make up this machine/memory box. 

output: Based on this research experiment I created tactile and digital images that capture the images and expand upon them. I created digital collage, in which the microscopic images of my old broken iphone are overlaid with images of organic material I found at home such as plant water, vegetable scraps and my own skin. To show them in juxtaposition and see how organic vs inorganic structures compare. I then project these images onto fabric and plastic and trace images to embroider them. 

This project continues into other phones with more trapped memories inside... 


Algae studies in Watch Hill (Fire Island), New York. A natural reserve, highly surveilled environment in which sharks are policed by helicopters and we spot a drone flying over the campground at 4am.    

goal: analysis of algae found in nyc shoreline 

why: consider this species, how it interacts with its ecosystem and how human technology impacts its presence 

process: I collected algae throughout the summer of 2021 intrigued by the organic shapes algae creates as its flattens to dry. I was most captivated by how lettuce algae colors the entire shoreline green and maintains its bright green color as it dries.

Back at home, with the microscope I observed the texture and coloring of this algae - as it dries, there is a shiny glare that persists, as if it was still wet. I learned it is edible, as you can tell by its name ‘lettuce’ algae and I wonder if the algae has always been here in these quantities… 

I study the internet cables around, turns out this location is close to a big-big internet access hub for Queens and Brooklyn….

And I wonder, in 5/10/20 years from now, how will this algae change because of that? 

output: I expand on this research with paintings of glitched algae in which algae transforms in response to cables and internet energies.