“Big Bang Data” Revisited
An exchange between curator Olga Subirós, scholar Lev Manovich, and Data Issue editors Marvin Jordan & Mike Pepi.
Top image: Exhibition “Big Bang Data” in CCCB. Image © Gunnar Knechtel.
Excerpt from the introduction:
“In May 2014 the Centre de Cultura Contemporània De Barcelona (CCCB) unveiled “Big Bang Data,” a touring exhibition using various projects to explore the recent emergence of the database as a socio-political framework. The exhibition asks how the “datafication of the world” is transforming our society—from scientific study, government agencies, businesses, and arts and culture. After five months in Barcelona, it traveled to Fundación Telefónica in Madrid; then to Buenos Aires, London, and Singapore. Curators of “Big Bang Data” Olga Subirós and José Luis de Vicente drew on centuries of theory about information and computation, with special attention to the recent expansion of digital storage and its attendant capabilities. The work of media theorist Lev Manovich was central to the investigation. An e-mail exchange organized with Olga Subirós and Lev Manovich provides a tour of some of the most intriguing data visualizations and exploration projects from the last several years. The result is a visual essay mixed with provocations, curiosities, and observations that raises new questions and provides directions for additional research in the field of cultural analytics, data visualization, and the study of societies awash in data.”