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The revolution of big data, exhibited at London's Somerset House

The exhibition 'Big Bang Data' commissioned by Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB) shows the big data explosion of the 21st century and how it has transformed our lives by displaying a varied collection of pieces from international new media artists. "The exhibition is about changes" stated 'Big Bang Data's commissionaire, José Luís de Vicente "and how these big data has affected our privacy, relationships and even security". After touring in Madrid, Buenos Aires and in many other Latin America capital cities, the exhibit arrives in London absolutely renewed, with 20 fresh projects and 3 especially designed for London, such as an interactive map of the British capital according to the moods reflected on Twitter or a collection of selfies taken in the city. More than 125,000 visitors all over the world have already seen Big Bang Data, which will go to Singapore after London.

 

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04 December 2015 07:11 PM

by

Sara Prim

London (CNA).- More than 125,000 visitors all over the world have already seen 'Big Bang Data' a major exhibition on the big data explosion of the 21st century commissioned by Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB). The wide range of artworks and projects displayed go from the industrial infrastructure of data to the most recent trends in selfies, all the way up to artificial intelligence, migration patterns or the story of WikiLeaks. "The exhibition is about changes" stated 'Big Bang Data's commissionaire, José Luís de Vicente "and how these big data has affected our privacy, relationships and even security". After touring in Madrid, Buenos Aires and in many other Latin America capital cities, the exhibit arrives in London absolutely renewed, with 20 fresh projects and 3 especially designed for London, such as an interactive map of the British capital according to the moods reflected on Twitter or a collection of selfies taken in the city. 


'Big Bang Data' combines video, photography, software, digital resources and collective experiments. "Some of the pieces are very intimate, others are disturbing and others very alarming" stated de Vicente.

The exhibition features specially commissioned and rarely seen pieces from international new media artists, including Ryoji Ikeda, James Bridle or Eva and Franco Mattes, all of which draw upon data to explore one of the most important issues of our time. "The amount of data that we produce and the speed at we do so, was unimaginable just a few decades ago" assured de Vicente, who noted that we are constantly producing and releasing data whether passively, as our daily lives are recorded by cameras and traced by the use of our devices, or by actively engaging the social media.

According to Vicente, the explosion of big data has many associated questions, some of them, quite worrying. "The big data has changed our lives; our concept of privacy, how do we see ourselves, how do we communicate with the others and even how save we are". Following this, he named the Ashley Madison hacking scandals as an example of how private lives and personal secrets can be exposed. "It also affects us at a bigger scale" he noted "the management of information is also a weapon for citizens and governments". In fact, the irruption of WikiLeaks, and his founder Julian Assange and whistle-blower Edward Snowden in the global agenda are a clear proof of "the 'datification' of our society".

New projects designed for London

One of the exhibition's highlights is London Situation Room. London is considered to be the most closely-watched city in the world and real-time data collected from the British capital has been collected and screened for the exhibition. Collaborating with Future Cities Catapult and Tekja collective, the interactive works transform numbers into narratives: the data generated by tracing Instagram's pictures and Twitter gathered around the city tell stories of Londoners and their daily lives. "It a sentimental analysis of the city" stated the 'Big Bang Data's commissionaire, Olga Subirós "it shows, for example, which neighbourhoods are happier or which are the angriest, according to the words used on their Twitter or the kind of pictures they take and share on Insatgram".

There is also 'Selfie City London' which shows a portrait of the city through its people. "We have discovered that people here is older and more serious than in other cities" she assured.

International success

'Big Bang Data' commissioned by CCCB together with Telefonica Foundation opened its doors in Barcelona but soon toured all over the globe. Madrid, Buenos Aires, and an itinerary around many capital cities in Latin America showed how the issue raise international interest. "We have been talking about the big data concept for years" stated Subirós "but this is the first time that we have given it a shape". "It affects and interests many people because we are all part of this data producing process" she stated. More than 125,000 people all over the world have already seen the exhibition, which will go to Singapore after his season at London's Somerset House.

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  • Visitor at the 'Big Bang Data' exhibition, at London's Somerset House

  • Visitor at the 'Big Bang Data' exhibition, at London's Somerset House
Big Bang Data at London's Somerset House