Julie Freeman is a visual artist, who is using data as an inspiration for original artwork. In the current presentation, given at the Open Data Institute annual summit, Julie talks about how live metadata from the world’s largest citizen science portal, Zooniverse, can be played back as movies and sounds at different rhythms, based on actual volunteers’ activity patterns over time.
“We Need Us” is composed of a series of animations, each corresponding to a different project at the Zooniverse. The artwork follows a set of rules, e.g., animations are created using only four-sided, flat-colored shapes, and the sounds come from processed environmental field recordings. The visual art itself has been inspired by suprematism, an art movement of the early 20th century.
The “living” animations are based on open crowdsourced data, “powered by all the clicks and swipes that happen at any one minute from anywhere in the world”.
“We Need Us” takes a kind of indirect approach to data representation, and it looks at how can we experience these vast datasets, how we can feel them, as opposed to just analyze them”, says Julie.
Can this be a new way to approach information in the era of Big Data?
Written by Eglė Marija Ramanauskaitė