Data as Culture is the term I gave to the process of selecting, commissioning and curating data-driven artworks for the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI). The first activity in the Data as Culture programme in 2012 was an open call to artists to propose ideas for data-driven artworks – art that explores data’s properties, provenances, and peculiarities. For the first exhibition, a total of nine works, three new commissions and six existing ones, were all displayed at the Institute.
In curating the showcase for the ODI we wanted to select a range of works that would not just reflect different data sources, but that would challenge our understanding of what data is, and how it may affect and reflect our lives. […] The works range from geomagnetic data visualisations, to wall painted cellular automata, to tabloid newspapers of search term trend graphs – all tangible interventions into the mass accretion of data around us.
Quote from Julie Freeman and Sophie McDonald (MzTEK) about Data as Culture’s first exhibition.
The ODI was co-founded in 2012 by the inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Artificial Intelligence expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt to advocate for the innovative use of open data to affect positive change across the globe. It’s vision is for people, organisations and communities to use data to make better decisions and be protected from any harmful impacts.
“Data as Culture” was one of the first budget decisions by the then CEO of the ODI acknowledging the strong belief that it would be important to the development of the organisations identity. We underestimated the profound, and pivotal impact that it would have not only on the Institute itself, but across many communities around the world.
Data as Culture exhibitions feature a range of commissioned and loaned data-driven art works that do not just reflect different data sources: they challenge our understanding of what data is, and how it may affect and reflect our lives. The works range from geomagnetic data visualisations, to wall painted cellular automata, to tabloid newspapers of search term trend graphs, hacked cardigans, live coding compositions – all tangible interventions into the mass accretion of data around us. See the archive here.
Our exhibitions to date:
|Data as Culture||Julie Freeman & Sophie McDonald||2012|
|Data as Culture 2||Shiri Shalmy, with Julie Freeman, Honor Harger, Tom Highham||2014|
|Data Anthropologies: Thomson & Craighead||Hannah Redler||2015|
|Data Anthropologies: Love is an Act||Hannah Redler||2015|
|Thinking Out Loud||Hannah Redler & Alex McLean||2016|
|Hybrid Landscapes at Digital Catapult||Hannah Redler||2017|
|The New Observatory||Hannah Redler & Sam Skinner for FACT, Liverpool||2017|
|LMAO||Julie Freeman & Hannah Redler||2018|
The programme is led by Julie Freeman and Hannah Redler. Exhibitions can be viewed by appointment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Archive site featuring all DaC artists and artworks: culture.theodi.org.