Big Bang Data

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“As the data explosion accelerates, we ask if we really understand our relationship with data, and explore the meaning and implications of data for our future.”

What is data? What do we do with data? Where is data stored? These are some of the many questions which I am sure have crossed all our minds. Big Bang Data, an exhibition at the Somerset House running until 20th March is an insightful exhibition on the Digital Age and how the world is responding to the influx of information being created every day.

The world which we currently live in is one of Big Data. There has never been this much information produced and stored before: 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone! Some of the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced in 2012 came from social media sites, climate sensors and even online banks. This is new, this is exciting and this is also very controversial. Currently, there are many questions being asked about issues regarding mass surveillance and privacy. On the other hand, all this information, which is evermore accessible, is a tool that can
be used to drive positive social change.


Where is all this information stored? In big fluffy clouds? These hanging panels show images of warehouses filled with storage units and where in the world they are located.

Here are some of the projects featured in the exhibition:

Stranger Visions by Heather Dewey-Hagbor

Stranger Visions is a collection of portrait sculptures created from DNA samples collected on items such as gum and cigarettes found on the streets of New York. Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses genetic material from items found in public places to create portraits of strangers and uses developing technology to ask questions about the future of surveillance.

visit : http://deweyhagborg.com/strangervisions

World Processor by Ingo Gunther

World Processor is a fascinating collection of globes used to visualise data, each globe reflecting a different topic.

Visit : http://www.ingogunther.com/58118/482379/world-processor/world-processor

Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec

Dear Data, one of my favourites, is a collection of hand drawn letters sent between two women living on opposite sides of the world. Every week for a year they collected data from their everyday lives relating to a specific topic (a week of my phone, a week of eavesdropping, a week of smells…). They then sent each other beautifully illustrated visualisations of the data they collected. Imaginative, beautiful and inspiring.

Visit : http://www.dear-data.com/all

Black Shoals; Dark Matter by Lisa Autogena and Joshua Portway

At first Black Shoals; Dark Matter appears to be a map of our galaxy. However, this instillation actually represents the financial market in realtime. The stars appear as companies trading on the world stock exchange, where the size and the duration of each ‘star’ indicates the volume of the trade.

visit : http://www.blackshoals.net/images

I Know Where Your Cat Lives by Owen Mundy

Funny and creepy, I Know Where Your Cat Lives is an experiment which places public images of cats found on the internet and social media tagged with the word “cat” to their location on an interactive map. A comment by Owen Mundy on what we share on the internet and what details our trail leaves behind.

Visit: http://iknowwhereyourcatlives.com

Cinema Redux by Brendan Dawes

Cinema Redux is visual distillation of an entire movie in which each row represents one minute of film time. An interesting way of stepping back and noticing new details from a movie, looking at the pace of the film and appreciating the art of film making to a new level.

visit : http://www.brendandawes.com/projects/cinemaredux

Feltron Annual Reports by Nicholas Feltron

The Feltron Annual Reports demonstrate the beauty and detail that can be applied. Every year, Feltron produces an annual report visualising personal data, bringing numbers and statistics to life. A great inspiration to us here at CKD.

Visit: http://feltron.com

London Situation Room

Check out the London Situation Room. London is considered the data capital: think about every oyster card transaction, every Instagram photo shared, these all create an enormous amount of data. This room demonstrates what we can do with all this data for our city.

Visit: http://bigbangdata.somersethouse.org.uk/the-london-situation-room

If you are planning to visit the exhibition, which I highly recommend, make sure to have a clear mind ready to sponge in a fantastic array of information.

Find out more at http://bigbangdata.somersethouse.org.uk