The BIG BANG DATA Exhibition Explores the Phenomenon of the Information Explosion We Are Currently Experiencing

7. 4. - 14. 8. 2017
Press Release for download here.

High resolution pictures for download here.

The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in cooperation with CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona has prepared an extensive multimedia exhibition that shows how the creation, processing, and interpretation of “Big Data” is changing our time and society in a radical manner. The BIG BANG DATA project explores the effects of the “datafication” of the world, a process as significant for the twenty-first century as electrification was for the nineteenth century. It includes works by over thirty artists and projects from around the world, including the Czech Republic.


So what actually is “Big Data”? One key aspect of our time is the creation of huge volumes of data. While the cost of storing digital information has declined dramatically over the past 15 years, the number of electronic devices that collect, create, and send data has increased exponentially.

We all generate data – from our mobile phones, sensors, social networks, digital photos and videos, payments, or GPS signals. Just ten years ago, most data was a product of scientific or administrative efforts; today, the main factor is the information explosion of the everyday activity of millions of people who leave behind a digital footprint.

Along with the information explosion, new ways of solving problems are appearing and questions are arising that are changing established scientific procedures, how value is created within the economy, or how politics and society are managed. Easier creation and storage of huge volumes of data allows us to detect patterns of events, behaviour, consumption, or choice. New methods determine our collective preferences, be it regarding the purchase of a certain product or expression of a political opinion. Internet social platforms are building exceptionally detailed user preference profiles, turning them into a product and thus supporting the growth of new economic sectors.

“Today the data created by networks of sensors all around us, by industrial technologies and individuals, is considered an open opportunity and a powerful tool. It can be a key element in the development of more participatory democracy and more a more efficient state administration. But it can also furnish the means to create an unprecedented system of mass surveillance,” explains curator Olga Subirós.

In the exhibition, put on by CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona) in cooperation with Fundación Telefónica and the DOX Centre, curators Olga Subirós and José Luis de Vicente explore the phenomenon of Big Data through nearly 30 works of art and projects form artists and researchers from around the world.

For example Erik Kessels’ monumental installation comprising hundreds of thousands of photo prints refers to the avalanche of images uploaded to the Flickr photo-sharing network within the course of 24 hours. James Bridle’s book Where The F**k Was I? maps out the author’s movements over the course of 11 months based on data from his iPhone that was however collected without his awareness. David Bowen’s installation uses real-time data transmission to show the intensity and movement of ocean waves west of Hawaii. These and other projects in the exhibition are supplemented by video interviews with experts and researchers who talk about the potential and hidden threats of today’s datafication of the world.

The BIG BANG DATA exhibition premiered in Barcelona in 2014 and then travelled as an open concept to exhibition institutions in Madrid, Buenos Aires, London, Lima, Singapore, and Santiago de Chile. In each of these institutions the exhibition was presented in a different form and supplemented with local context.

The exhibition at the DOX Centre also presents several local projects. A project by London art duo TEKJA, which works primarily with data visualization, came about in cooperation with the DOX Centre especially for the Prague exhibition. Based on “sentiment analysis”, it records a live social map of Prague: the map uses publicly available data to show in real time emoticons and keywords used by social network users, and thus depicts the emotions being experienced by people in various parts of Prague.

This presentation of the BIG BANG DATA project is the first and only opportunity to view this monumental exhibition in Central Europe. No further presentation in Central Europe is planned at this time.

DOX has also prepared an accompanying programme for the exhibition that will offer a series of lectures on the topics of the exhibition for both the professional community and the general public, film evenings, discussion evenings with digital journalists, or readings with journalists in the Gulliver Airship. (See below for more information on the programme.)


Exhibition curators: Olga Subirós and José Luis de Vicente

Exhibiting artists and projects:

Horst Ademeit, Timo Arnall, Christopher Baker, David Bowen, James Bridle, Paolo Cirio, Brendan Dawes, FabLab BCN, Gemma Galdón, Ingo Günther, Jonathan Harris, Erik Kessels, Aaron Koblin, Manuel Lima, Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec, Mapa kriminality, Jonathan Minard, Na ovoce, Near Future Laboratory, Florence Ninghtingale, Safecast, Max Schrems, John Snow, Michal Šimonfy, Tam venku, Tekja, TeleGeography, The Public Laboratory, Umbrellium

The exhibition is organized by the DOX Centre, CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, and Fundación Telefónica

High resolution photos are available for download at http://www.dox.cz/en/press


ATTENDANT PROGRAMME

11 May | 7:00 p.m.
ON AIR: Matthew Jockers – The Bestseller Code - a discussion in the Gulliver Airship on the topic of big data and literature

16 May – 20 May
DATA SECURITY WEEK – a series of lectures and workshops on the subject of data protection and security: What are we revealing through data, and should it bother us? How can we protect our data?
Invited are Vesselin Popov (an expert in the area of psychometry from Cambridge University), Oktavía Jonsdottir (an expert and independent consultant in the area of data security for organizations and individuals, member of the Icelandic Pirate Party), Tactical Tech (a Berlin collective working to promote data security)

25 May | 7:00 p.m.
DOX KINOLAB - Data Overload: Collapsed Mind - an evening of film and discussion on: The effect of the information explosion and data overload on the human psyche

15 June | 7:00 p.m.
DOX KINOLAB - Data Overload: Biohack Me! - an evening of film and discussion on: Cybernetic body improvement as the future of humankind

18 June |  2:00 p.m.
TIMECATCHER – a programme for young people aged 13 and up and their parents and grandparents on the subject of the digital society

21 June | 6:30 p.m.
UNDER PRESS(URE) – a regular round table discussion with journalists, this time on the subject of data journalism

21 June | 7:00 p.m.
KINOLAB - Data Overload: Data in the Hands of the State - an evening of film and discussion on: Protection of personal information and the new GDPR law