Articles from ARCADE Issue 33.1 will release online over the following weeks. Subscribe to receive ARCADE in print.

Data Culture

Below is the introduction to of the essay/feature section "Data Culture" from the spring 2015 issue of ARCADE. The essay will release online in installments over the coming weeks. Subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive notice of posts.—ARCADE

“In the future, everything will share data — our heartbeats will be recordable; everyday appliances like cars and refrigerators will stream data online; if a device processes information of any kind, it will soon have the ability to share it.” — Aaron Koblin, head of Google’s Data Arts team (from Think with Google)

Data is on the ascent. In particular, the last decade has seen the dramatic rise of data in society. There is more digital information in the world than ever before, and we create more every day. Along with the exponential increase in computer processing power, the Internet’s explosive growth is fueling this new age of information, making it ever easier to collect and share data. As a result, quantification is infiltrating seemingly all corners of the world. Things that have never been measured before are now being converted into data, including aspects of life as amorphous as our personal relationships.

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift. Data’s rise and the effects of quantification are profoundly impacting our communities and our lives. We now create and consume large amounts of data in our personal lives through our use of search engines, fitness trackers and social networks. In society at large, data is driving new insights in sectors such as science, education, healthcare and business. As history has shown, societal shifts can be the cause of frictions that provide incentive for critical inquiry among artists and others. This ARCADE feature section will explore the ways in which data has infiltrated culture, including case studies of works that utilize data for critique or as a new method of generating artistic forms.


"Data Culture: Part 2: The Quantification of Society" released on 8 May 2015:

"Four developments in particular characterize our current data-driven climate. ..."


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Data Culture

Photo: Cole Benson


The top image by Schema (designers of ARCADE Issue 33.1) shows artwork highlighted in the "Data Culture" feature section. Check back for future posts which will discuss these works and/or subscibe to ARCADE to receive the issue in print (you can also find ARCADE at these locations). Images top row, left to right : Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, Listening Post, 2001. Courtesy of the artists. / Golan Levin, Jonathan Feinberb, Shelly Wynecoops and Martin Wattenberg, The Secret Lives of Numbers, 2002. Courtesy of the artists. / Matthiew Savary, Pixel Is Data, 2013–present. Courtesy of the artist. / Douglas Coupland with Paul Humphreys and Helios Design Labs, Electric Ikebana, 2012. Courtesy of Douglas Coupland. / Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron [8K enhanced version], audiovisual installation, 2008–09. © Ryoji Ikeda. Photo: Liz Hingley. / Daniel Rozin, Time Scan Mirror, 2004. Courtesy of bitforms gallery, NY. Second row, left to right: Brian House, Quotidian Record, 2012. Courtesy of the artist. / Willem Besselink, iCal / uCal, 2012–2013. Courtesy of the artist. / Antony Raijekov and Katharina Köller, 10VE, 2014. Courtesy of Antony Raijekov. / George Legrady, Pockets Full of Memories, 2003–2007. Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, UK, 2005. Curated by Kathy Rae Huffman. Courtesy of the artist. / Casey Reas, Signal to Noise, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery, NY. / Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich and Jay Chow, Phototrails, 2013. Courtesy of Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich, Jay Chow/ / Mithru Vigneshwara, Aleph of Emotions, 2013–2014. Courtesy of the artist. Third row, left to right: Jason Salavon, Portrait, 2009–2010. Portrait (Hals), 2009, Digital C-print, 38.5" × 31". Ed. 7 + 2 APs. Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY. / Komar & Melamid, Holland’s Most Wanted, 1994. Oil and acrylic on canvas. All images courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY. / James Coupe and Juan Pampin, Sanctum, 2013–2015. Courtesy of RJ Sánchez | Solstream Studios. / Chris Milk in collaboration with Aaron Koblin, The Johnny Cash Project, 2010–present. Courtesy of the artists. / Jonathan Harris, and Sep Kamvar, We Feel Fine, 2006. Courtesy of Jonathan Harris. / Roman Onkák, Measuring the Universe, 2007. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY. Bottom row, left to right: Lisa Jevbratt, 1:1, 1999. Courtesy of the artist. / Beb Grosser, Facebook Demetricator, 2012 present. Courtesy of the artist. / Ebru Kubak and Mahir Yavuz, News Knitter, 2007. Courtesy of the artists. / LUST, Type/Dynamics, 2013–2014. Installation with visitors. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij. / Laura Kurgan, Monochrome Landscapes, 2004 (details). White: Acquired 7 April 2003, 21:12:49 GMT. Center coordinates Lat. 69.79985, Long. -144.54275. QuickBird satellite, 0.61m per pixel. Includes material © 2003 DigitalGlobe. All rights reserved. Blue: Acquired 16 May 2003, 10:19:54 GMT. Center coordinates Lat. -0.00195, Long. -0.00045. QuickBird satellite, 0.61m per pixel. Includes material © 2003 DigitalGlobe. All rights reserved. Green: Acquired 4 December 2001, 09:48 GMT. Upper left coordinates Lat. 3.21939, Long. 14.2077. Ikonos satellite, 1.0 meter per pixel. Includes material © 2001 Space Imaging LLC. All rights reserved. Yellow: Acquired 30 March 2003, 07:32:10 GMT. Center coordinates Lat. 30.3136, Long. 46.3738. QuickBird satellite, 0.61m per pixel. Includes material © 2003 DigitalGlobe. All rights reserved. Courtesy of the artist