Data-Led Art Championed By Arts Council England With £33k Grant

Data-Led Art

Two new open data-led artworks will now be developed for the Open Data Institute’s Data as Culture programme, by its artists in residence Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana, thanks to £33,800 ‘Grants for the Arts’ funding supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Since the ODI’s inception in 2012, the Data as Culture programme has brought together diverse artists, commissioned works and public exhibitions. The programme explores new ways of thinking about open data – data that anyone can use and share – to audiences beyond the technology sector. In 2015, Data as Culture expanded introducing its first Artists in Residence, critically acclaimed British artists Thomson & Craighead, and award-winning photographic artist, Natasha Caruana, invited to research open data within the theme of ‘Data Anthropologies’.

The ODI’s ambition for these new commissions is to explore the proliferation of data publicly available in society today and challenge existing narratives relative to the knowledge and information open data provides. By suggesting the ‘Data Anthropologies’ theme, both artists in residence will position people at the centre of data environments, questioning how data can shape, reflect and distort realities in their works.

Hannah Redler, Associate Curator in Residence, at the ODI said: “Receiving funding from the Arts Council for open data-led art is a phenomenal achievement for the Data as Culture programme. The potential impact of open data is huge, surfacing serious questions about how we live our lives and we’re yet to see it in full force. Bringing the unique perspectives of Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana will fundamentally challenge the impact of these advances in technology, and help us to further understand the way networked systems, such as open data, are shaping our society.”

Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, stated: “We are pleased to be able to support the Open Data Institute’s ‘Data Anthropologies’ commissions. Our lives are increasingly networked and while the resulting data we generate can have many positive uses, open data can also be subject to misuse. Artists have an important role to play in questioning the complex role of data in society and how it impacts on people’s lives. We look forward to seeing the perspectives Jon, Alison and Natasha bring to this topic.”

The artworks will shape the core of the Data as Culture programme’s ‘Data Anthropologies’ theme, which examines the complex relationships between people and data.

Image: “The Clandestine Purse”, 2009, Natasaha Caruana, ODI Artist in Residence.