Sunday, 15 May 2011

Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector

I am thoroughly enjoying reading one of my new purchases, 'Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector' by artist Ellie Harrison.

Initially flicking through this small publication, I was attracted to the colourful charts and repetitive imagery, but there is a much more serious note to this book. It marks a turning point in Harrison's artistic career; a time when she decides to stop doing activities that her practice had previously revolved around in an attempt to 'stop making work about myself and start making work about the world'. In her own words "There is now such a ridiculous abundance of boring information about other people's lives on the internet, I felt obliged to stop adding to it."

The book examines the wider reasons behind Ellies actions; living in a culture of quantifying behaviour, Thatherism and performance measurement. She also draws upon artists who have acted in similar ways. In the style of a self help guide, motivational slogans sum up each chapter, giving ideas to move forward.

Knowing Harrison's current practice, I found it very satisfying to see how she has succeeded in becoming an artist with 'a healthier and more outward-looking practice'.

She produces work that is pertinant, uses humour intellegently, and is truely committed to everything she does.

I strongly recommend visiting Ellie's excellent website
For Megan Smith's review of 'Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector' please visit

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