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DATA DRIFT exhibition showcases works by some of the most influential data designers of our time, as well as by artists who use data as their artistic medium. How can we use the data medium to represent our complex societies, going beyond "most popular," and "most liked"? How can we organize the data drifts that structure our lives to reveal meaning and beauty? How to use big data to "make strange," so we can see past and present as unfamiliar and new?

If painting was the art of the classical era, and photograph that of the modern era, data visualization is the medium of our own time. Rather than looking at the outside worldwide and picturing it in interesting ways like modernist artists (Instagram filters already do this well), data designers and artists are capturing and reflecting on the new data realities of our societies.

Frederic Brodbeck (Germany) “Cinemetrics” is a project about gathering and visualizing video data, in order to reveal the visual characteristics of films and to create a “fingerprint” for them. Information such as the editing structure, color and motion are extracted, analyzed and transformed into animated graphical representations, so that movies can be seen as a whole, and compared side by side.

The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 hours in Kyiv” is the first project of Lev Manovich (USA), Mehrdad Yazdani (USA), Alise Tifentale (Latvia / USA), Jay Chow (USA) to analyze the use of Instagram during a social upheaval using computational and visualization techniques. We explore how during the exceptional events, the exceptional co-exists with the (Instagram) everyday. The visualization shown in the exhibition includes all 13,208 images shared by 6,165 Instagram users in central part of Kyiv during February 17–22, 2014 (the week of 2014 Maidan Revolution).

Using data from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report Periscopic (USA) in their work “U.S. Gun killings” Stolen years” visualizes and explores the gun murders that took place in 2010 and 2013, the most recent years for which data was available.nThe Uniform Crime Report includes voluntarily-reported data from police precincts across the country, and represents more than 285 million U.S. inhabitants – 94.6% of the total population, containing details of each person who was killed, including their age, gender, race, relationship to killer, and more. What the dataset does not contain is an assessment of the potential life that was stolen from these individuals as a result of their murder. To calculate that, artists used the World Health Organization’s UNSD Demographic Statistics, and performed an age prediction weighted according to the age distribution of U.S. deaths, paired with a likely cause of death at that age.

Exhibition address: kim? Contemporary Art Center gallery, Maskavas street 12, Riga, Latvia.
Opening hours: Mo – closed, Tue 12:00-20:00 (free entrance), Wed–Sun 12:00-18:00.


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