Production framework for the artwork

The production of the artwork is based on publicly available datasets and on user engagement data. The collected datasets are processed with the help of machine learning algorithms in order to build model representations of the data and to interpret categories, relations and properties. Such representations constitute an emerging knowledge base of the many interlinked parts that constitute the issue at stake. The hope is that a broad multifaceted perception of all the granular parts will lead to a greater level of understanding of the problem as a whole, and will promote more virtuous behaviors.

First, data is displayed using graphical and visual representations to communicate clearly the information contained. Then, mathematical models are fitted to features of the data that best express the various patterns, categories and relations . These models can serve as mapping functions between the data and audio and visual elements of art. For example a language model can help determine the various topics discussed in a corpus of text and be associated with elements of art such as colors, sounds and symbols. Hence a workflow is established to transform data into digital audio and visual elements that can be arranged together into compositions with the help of computer graphics software.

Therefore the steps discussed provide the tools necessary for the construction of 12 scenes that will explore the various facets evoked by the theme of sustainable tourism in Cyprus.

Production framework for the artwork

Data sources

Multiple datasets are collected from public sources. Data can take various forms including measurement records of quantities located in space and in time, descriptive text, images and sounds. Data can also be collected by monitoring user engagements with the artwork.

A philosophical perspective

Today "data is the new oil" and is collected and exploited to create immense opportunities. Artificial intelligence is at the forefront of new technological developments that promise to unlock previously inaccessible knowledge about the world. Francis Bacon understood that "knowledge itself is power" and can be harnessed into actions to benefit the many, or misused to greatly benefit the few.

In a world faced with multiple challenges related to perpetual material growth on a finite planet, it is worth re-examining another conception elaborated by Socrates in which "virtue is knowledge", that is, knowledge is a necessary (and sufficient condition) for virtue. Whether acquired through perception or through reasoning, knowledge leads to virtuous actions only if taken as a whole. However in most cases it is not possible to gain exhaustive knowledge. Bounded by rationality, knowledge as a whole can nevertheless be experienced aesthetically, for example when contemplating a landscape, observing the night sky, or listening to a symphony.

Thus the artwork's ambition is to leverage the new ways of perceiving the world brought about by data science, and to create for the viewer a more comprehensive aesthetical experience of the subject examined. A world where knowledge is fragmented and obfuscated is susceptible to division, exploitation and manipulation. A world experienced aesthetically as a whole and where knowledge is traced back to its data source is more truthful, trustworthy and hopefully leads to more virtuous behaviors and sustainable activities.

Francis Bacon

1617 – 1621

"Knowledge is Power"


470 BC399 BC

"Virtue is Knowledge"

Reflections on art and music history

The approach which consists of developing new elements of art derived from data science is somewhat reminiscent of the previous work of artists and art movements. Notably Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were keen on elaborating new visual languages based on primary colors , fundamental shapes and raw materials. These concepts were further developed into art movements (Constructivism, Bauhaus), architecture and industrial design.

In the music world, the proposal finds inspiration in works of composers such as Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen or Iannis Xenakis who in the 50s, 60s and 70s developed each in their own way, a new musical language based on data, mathematics and emerging technologies.

It is therefore possible that the digital experiments conducted for the realization of the artwork could lead to new and exciting developments.

3D computer graphics software

Besides data science, the artwork also takes advantage of 3D computer graphics software that are widely used in the creative entertainment industry, and that are still underutilized in the art world.