The current excess of computational
capacity begun to bring central questions about the nature of the humanities and natural science to light. Questions that
critical artists have started to ask long before: how does science determine social structures, how does it shape our reality?
What was important enough to be a subject to further examination, what has been overlooked or deliberately suppressed?
We want to go one step further and use novel computer-assisted
research as well as software-based visualisation methods to understand how knowledge is organized in world information systems
like The Library of Congress or Wikipedia. We want to develop an interface to this »topography of knowledge« in order to see
how these powerful systems express a structure to the information they contain over and above the facts themselves, since
this is inherent to the ideologies used to catalogue and index them, all of which evolve over time.
The novel view we will pursue, addresses objects and objectivity but,
unlike traditional metrics, the materiality of the objects will be considered in an expanded sense; that is, via the multiple
vectors of meaning (perception, opinion, facticity, truth, semantics) that have been attributed to them over time whilst,
simultaneously addressing the ‘radical matter’ of the algorithms as constituted by the flow of zeroes and ones. This »topography
of knowledge« will enable a stronger relation to Big Data (or Metadata) as something quite different and far removed from
surveillance or invasion of privacy; it will, at least in part, work toward the ability to establish a stronger, profoundly
pluralistic democracy of objects and to understand human prejudice as a historical factor that can be calculated and traced.
We want to investigate and explore the possibilities
of artistic interaction with these big “bodies” of data and are proposing to transform data into some kind of »matter« that
allows us to touch, restructure and re-organize it.
DATA LOAM - the new material we want to introduce with this project - is based on the substance that is already
used (and often abused) by institutions, governmental agencies and industries. We want nothing less than to enable everyone
to create and shape a true/fictional/absurd variant of the world as we know it: A laboratory of possible realities. DATA LOAM
will provide a powerful set of metrics that can be used to enable anyone to ‘think outside the box’ whilst simultaneously
ushering in a replacement paradigm which encourages all of us to be the philosophers and artists of our time.