Week 3: Art is Data is Art

Within the museum setting, the relationship between object and viewer is convoluted. There has always been a tendency to keep a certain distance between the two. However, with the pervasiveness of technology and the advent of the Internet, we’ve begun to modify our experiences with objects and our relationships with them. With the rise of interactive and immersive art, the distance between object and viewer is beginning to collapse. We are no longer detached observers. We take on many roles; we are at once the audience, artist, and curator. We want to be an active part of the conversation. The accessibility and pervasiveness of content on the Internet allows us to become those active participants. Mia Ridge in her essay, “Where Next for Open Cultural Data in Museums?” explores the ways in which museums are beginning to adapt to our newfound roles. With open cultural data, museums are able to share their databases, images, and knowledge with the world. This new level of accessibility is rendering new experiences, interactions, and even new art forms. We are beginning to see open sourced art emerge as the new medium. For example, data visualizations that utilize metadata from the Tate’s collection have become art in of themselves. One project, aptly titled “Art as Data as Art,” simply sums up the process and newfound medium. One example of Tate data usage that I enjoyed the most was Shardcore’s “Machine Imagined Art.” In “Machine Imagined Art,” Shardcore provides a description of a non-existent piece of artwork implied by the Tate Data. It encourages it’s participants to even create an art piece of their own. I think this form of data visualization is an abstract piece of performance art in of itself. I believe that open sourced data and open cultural data is where our future is headed. We are a “remix” culture. We upload, download, remix, and reuse content as we see fit.

One thought on “Week 3: Art is Data is Art”

  1. This blogpost is incredibly insightful and well-said in regards to this synthesis of artwork and technology that arose very recently. It is common for the public to stereotype art into certain confines, but this post does a great job at providing examples of data itself is an art form — and it reminds me of other methods of art/data creation such as data-moshing and infographics, which are also very much an a art form that the public may not initially consider as so.

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