Having recently restarted my design practice of Triplecode, I’ve become increasingly busy (and, of course interested in) projects involving data and “big data.” My own work tends to focus on information design and giving tools to make the data useful. But there’s a whole other community which explores artistic expression using the same types of content.
The show’s introductory essay gives a good context of data and the unique role and opportunity for artists:
Ours is the era of pervasive data: we are surrounded by signals and sensors that chronicle everything about our world and our lives. Web and mobile phone usage patterns reveal much about our behavior. Soon practically every device will be a connected device: our cars, fitness monitors, streetlights, and buildings will all participate in the data production economy. This represents a shift in the human condition, a shift in what it means to be human when everything about us can be quantified, measured, analyzed, and nearly permanently stored. All this creates unprecedented economic opportunity, but also new anxieties about privacy, identity and the nature of hyper-quantified humanity. Enter the artist, who has always helped us see the world in new and different ways. New technologies have also reliably led to disruptive advances in art: think what perspective did for the renaissance or how the portable oil tube enabled the impressionists to move outdoors and paint in natural light. So consider what a moment this is for artists as they embrace a new medium: the world of data.
Below are a handful of images and videos from the exhibit. There isn’t a lot of interactivity to the works, but hopefully that comes next. Take a look at the show’s website to see more and get more in-depth info on each piece.