Statistical Bodies, 2020-2023

Digital prints

The intangible power of algorithmic capitalism vibrates in our bodies. In recent years, data surveillance systems regularly monitor the most liquid and abstract bodily systems, from blood circulation to sleeping patterns, have altered the way we understand our bodies. The increasing complexity of the body as a data-subject, as shaped by the capitalist sensorium, constantly creates a need for the critical terminologies of the somatic to be reconsidered. How deeply are we attuned to the technological systems we place ourselves in, and we place in ourselves? How can we get in touch with corporal surveillance through what our bodies know? and can we situate new modes of data governance as a problem of and in the body? ‘Statistical Bodies’ is an ongoing body of work that explores questions of organic-electronic care, extraction and financial leveraging. Using performance, written scores, video and photographs, Cnaani studies the human body as a measurable device, engaging with questions of body datafication and the incomputable. By paying attention to the impulse of capital as it intimately circulates the body, the works identify moments that hold new nexus of data, capital and the corporeal but also carry the potential of friction, or rupture of the seamless flow of those transactions.

The most recent images in the series (all 2023) focus on recent industry terms such as "smart body", and the "Internet of bodies" that engage with new forms of embodied data extractivism and body-based data metaphors.


Surveillance infiltrates the body, observing and transforming it into quantifiable data. Data leaks into notions of what constitutes the self, and often erases or disregards emotion in bodily felt experience. Smart wearable devices lying intimately on the skin’s surface are mediums for obtaining information, tracking it as well as transmitting it. But there is ongoing imperfect synchronicity of body, object, and their social and technological milieu that mark the edges of what can be captured and what can’t not. The micro-movements in the nontangible spaces, refuse the clear definition of language, they represent potential leakage of information, the hole in the archivable, and the noise in the computable. The imperfect edges represent spaces of reduced governmentality. As for all our concerns, there is always something that drops out.

The same old issues of anxiety
The frustration of being stuck
The slow violence of feeling empty
The pathetic hope that someone will understand you without words
The tendency to give up trying
The inability to relate
The feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong
The moment I don't even know
The shame of self-harm
The mouth smell
The lacking if self-awareness
The smell of night sweat
The murmur of electrons when a living skin touches the plasma screen.
The annoyance of not really telling the truth
The itching of jealousy
The rage
The skin that can see
The resentment of someone you love
The fingertips peeling
The numbness of scrolling down
The irritation of losing a thread of thoughts