SCANZ2013:Making Sense of Data

Echology: Making Sense of Data

Author: Vicki Sowry


We live in a culture of pervasive and ever-increasing amounts of data. Collection systems, both public and private, track who we are, what we do and how we live our lives. Beyond mere accumulation, data publication and analysis tools enable critical and creative approaches to data and its representation well beyond the intent and scope of its initial collection.

ECHOLOGY brings together Australia’s leading artists and a world leader in urban development to create data‐generated public artworks that engage with issues including sustainability, climate change and resource use. The use of real-time data to produce artworks presents an exciting and challenging platform for bringing otherwise abstract and hard-to-grasp information into our grounded, local spaces.

Free from the static nature of most public artworks, the data-driven ECHOLOGY works will constantly change throughout their ten-year lifespans, providing an ever-evolving experience of the works themselves, as well as the information they convey. This feedback loop – between local behaviour and its dynamic representation – will help to create strong community engagement with the works.

ECHOLOGY is presented by ANAT and Carbon Arts, in partnership with Lend Lease. It is a challenging project that seeks to bring together professional artists, leading-edge technologists, local urban communities and corporate interests, all the while preserving and advocating the value of each of the stakeholder groups throughout the project life-cycle. Vicki Sowry will introduce the project and draw on its research components to identify best-practice in conceiving of and delivering complex interdisciplinary arts projects.