“My Google Search History”, the research life of Albertine Meunier – Liberation

Libé’s bookcase

From a space fry to PayPal, the artist continues to compile his requests for the American site in a third volume spanning the last four years.

Here is a funny, completely unreadable book… “An Invincible Book” accepts without mincing words Albertine Meunier, its author. However, volume 3 i My Google search history just published. It follows on from volume 1 published in 2011 and volume 2 published in 2016. Since 2006, Albertine Meunier, avatar of the artist Catherine Ramus, saves all the requests she writes on Google. Then she makes books out of them that list the correct names, addresses, words, parts of sentences that she has entered into the search bar of Silicon Valley’s monopoly engine. The last volume of this singular collection is much thicker than the previous two, which no doubt reflects the larger – and systematic – place Google Assistant occupies in Albertine Meunier’s life.

Classified in an antechronological order, his Google queries, head and tail formulas, mechanically compiled, necessarily go from rooster to donkey. Or rather, to “the rabbit” to “Elon Musk” from one “Fried in Space” to “PayPal”, from one “LCD screen” to “Quarterly pension repayment”, from one “Pastry shop near Dieppe” to “ethereum price”… Fascinating and heartbreaking! Abstract text – 410 pages without an afterword, same! – hits like a guilty aperitif: what does her internet research tell us about Albertina? His intimate questions or his secret schedule? Nothing, really, of all that… The portrait of the artist, through his very utilitarian Google searches, is, of course, superficial. However, in this third volume some traits of character, gluttony or taste for animal noise can be guessed. Albertine Meunier is clearly interested in cinema, good food, “good” restaurants, she cares surprisingly for “fat” rabbits, worries about preserving egg whites, and googles several artists and film critics. art… In his research, his new passions are born, NFT, blockchain, AI, cryptocurrency… In the background, one can guess the news, especially the coronavirus.

While any normally formed person tends to delete their search history to camouflage their internet wanderings, Albertine Meunier reveals all. She even makes wallpaper with this text, which she exhibits on the walls of Avant Galerie Vossen until January 14. “Making data visible goes against the model of the Internet giants, explains the artist. Gafams make us believe that this is all very personal, when even I can’t find it myself!» My Google search history it also reveals the artist’s game. Shameless, Albertine Meunier pulls out of the bottomless pit of the car, what she feeds him every day. It pulls its pale robot portrait from the ogre’s throat, as if to get its marbles better, and brings to light what makes Google a web giant. Doggedly, she digs for data, the gold mine of the Californian empire that absorbs, compiles and analyzes human activities. Oh yeah, she also Googles Albertine Meunier quite often… People, right?

Albertine Miller, My Google Search History Volume 3 June 21, 2022 – September 21, 2016. Publishing Avant Galerie Vossen, 460 pages, €38. Exhibition until January 14 at 58 rue Chapon, 75003.

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