Christopher Baker (1979, Radford, VA, USA; lives and works in Minneapolis, MN, USA) is an artist whose work engages the rich collection of social, technological and ideological networks present in the urban landscape. He creates artifacts and situations that reveal and generate relationships within and between these networks. In 2008, he completed a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Media Arts at the University of Minnesota. In late 2009, he concluded a yearlong artist residency at Kitchen Budapest, an experimental media lab in Hungary. He is currently a visiting artist at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His work has been presented in festivals, galleries and museums in the US including The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), The Minnesota Museum of American Artists (Minneapolis), and the Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY), and internationally in venues including Laboral (Gijon, SP), Museum of Communication (Bern, CH), Gallery@ (Barnsley, UK), the Pixelache Festival (Helsinki, FI), as well as venues in Budapest, Copenhagen and Toronto.
The works of the American artist Christopher Baker analyze trends and attitudes within digital technologies and platforms, emphasizing distortions and excesses in their use. The video installation Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise is composed of more than 5,000 video clips that the artist extracted from portals such as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace and then assembled on a single projection surface.
In each clip a person addresses an anonymous and unknown audience on the internet from his or her protected and private space. Each one talks about his or her daily life, personal preoccupations, desires and fears, or uses the digital space as a self-promotion platform. The webcam plays the dual role of diary and megaphone. The audio tracks of the videos overlap, making it impossible to follow the voices of the individual people. All of their stories collapse into a single "background noise", becoming part of an enormous overflow of data.
Baker alludes to the problem of online participatory communication. It has evolved from the "one-to-many" communication model of the traditional mass media to a "many-to-many" form of simultaneous communication that makes it increasingly complicated to select truly significant information from the flood of data.