Big Bang Data

At Somerset House a variety of international artists, designers and innovators show how the data explosion is transforming our world.

Big Bang Data © Morag Myerscough
On view at Somerset House, “Big Bang Data” is a major landmark exhibition about the big data explosion of the 21st century, which is radically transforming our lives.
The exhibition features specially commissioned and rarely seen pieces from a variety of international new media artists, including Ryoji Ikeda, James Bridle and Eva and Franco Mattes, all of which draw upon data to explore this most important issue of our time.
Ingo Günther, <i>World Processor</i>, 1989 – 2014 ©
Top: Big Bang Data © Morag Myerscough. Above: Ingo Günther, World Processor, 1989 – 2014 ©

The works follow the origins of data, reveal its industrial infrastructure, visualise hotlydiscussed data sets, from migration patterns and artificial intelligence to the global population of cats and trends in selfies, and consider the advantages and dangers of data in our modernday society. The artists have sourced sets of data not only from research centres, but also the public – possibly even visitors to the exhibition – themselves.

Today the world contains an unimaginably vast amount of data which is getting ever bigger, ever more quickly. We are all endlessly producing and releasing data, whether passively as our daily lives are recorded by cameras, telephone calls and card payments, or by actively engaging in social media and searching the internet. As a result, data stories are increasingly at the forefront of the global news agenda, from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden to the recent celebrity iCloud and Ashley Madison hacking scandals.

Data is now engrained in 21st century culture, yet the ways that data is organised, used and interpreted are still often unfathomable or almost invisible to the general public, and the issues raised by data for individuals, businesses and governments alike are conflicting and complex to comprehend.

“Big Bang Data” discloses the hidden truths of the data deluge through an interesting and varied collection of artworks and projects.

3 December 2015 – 28 February 2016
Big Bang Data
curated by Olga Subirós and José Luis de Vicente
Embankment Galleries
Somerset House
Strand, London

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