A bright art form from Big Data

An installation of LED light that makes you think, making tangible something impersonal like data.

Today data are used for everything in technology, it serves to have a lot of information with a speed that we have never had available.

Data can help us ‘do’ things that are useful or that make life more comfortable, but can they also help us think, through art, poetry and creativity? 

Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico, an artistic duo called AOS – Art is Open Source, tried to answer it. Their Datapoiesis project

“It uses data and artificial intelligence to create objects and experiences that help humans and their societies to perceive and understand the complex phenomena of our globalized world, using everything to promote positive change.”

Iaconesi and Persico work on the topic of social changes in the era dominated by digital data and technologies. Their vision of art is that of glue between science, politics and economics.

Data are useful when it becomes information, for example, the whole of humanity should be interested in knowing how many people live in poverty. In the light installation Datapoiesis designed by AOS, and recently presented in Bologna during Art City 2020, a stylized silhouette of a man lying down to sleep comes to life from the plexiglass plates that make up the work. Each level represents a geographical area of the world and is illuminated by an infinity of LED lights whose variation in intensity indicates the instant when someone enters the threshold of absolute poverty.

This bright update, in real time, is enabled by the connection to the constant flow of data produced on the subject of poverty by international organizations. The work feeds on these data and makes them visually tangible, representing a global and worrying human condition. 

Thus, this intangible thing that are the data thus becomes information and message, strong, real, on which to reflect and act, otherwise the light of this work will never go out.


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