Data Harvesting: Series title 'Paper Cuts' (Data Harvesting is No.8 of eight)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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Paper Cuts No.7 - Data Harvesting
H42cm x W30cm
Work on paper (mixed media)

This artwork explores the power of language and how the words and phrases we use to describe new technologies can have unintended negative connotations. For example, on social media platforms, the term "following" can feel uncomfortable and stalker-like, while clicking a button to request "friendship" can evoke memories of childhood rejection on the school playground. Similarly, the term "data harvesting" can suggest malicious intent in the collection of personal information.
These emotional connections to language can colour our relationship with technology, influencing how we perceive and interact with it. As we continue to invent new technologies and the language to describe them, it's important to consider the unintended implications of our word choices and the impact they may have on users. The artwork shows scissors slicing through the page and damaging it as they slice through the individuals in the imaginary database.

The series - Paper Cuts
This series explores the impact of language on mental health. Created through a
combination of collage and drawing techniques, they bring attention to the passive/aggressive phrases and words that are often used to bully and blame individuals. The works feature a clash of cartoon-like imagery and hand-drawn text, highlighting phrases such as “being resilient” and “gentle reminder” that can be used in a harmful manner. Similarly, as technology rapidly evolves, so too does the absurdity of the language we use to describe it. This language is parodied to highlight how it can make us as humans feel anxious, out-of-date, or redundant. The series encourages open conversations about mental health and challenges the notion that individuals can be ‘fixed’, which distracts us from attempting to create a more equal and supportive society. It’s a call to action to rethink the way we communicate and to understand the power of words.

Jac Batey is a contemporary artist from the UK. Her work explores the complexities and nuances of British life through the medium of artist’s books, printmaking, and collage. By utilizing humour as a tool, she reveals the absurdity and beauty of everyday experiences and the shared humanity that connects us all. She is drawn to (and draws) the intersection of visual communication, illustration, and mental health. Her practice focuses on the use of visual narratives and visual interludes as a means of addressing mental health issues, as well as the use of drawing as a research method and coping mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPale Ire Press
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • art
  • Mental health
  • Language and misuse
  • Humour
  • satire
  • drawing
  • data acquisition
  • illustration, authorship, literature, artist's book, learning & teaching

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