From technology and data to original art concepts!

By May 19, 2021 May 30th, 2022 News, Studio Project

Studio Project

From technology and data to original art concepts!

In the context of the MAS in Design Research for Digital Innovation, five students of the EPFL+ECAL Lab share their perspectives on digital art as a means to reflect on technology and data use.

Data has already penetrated all layers of our societies, shaping more and more our relationships with our environment. When you break it down, the core of many digital technologies is data: either they are gathered to create the technology, or generated and collected while using it. In the context of digital technology, they are shaping art practices. Some artists like Mike Winkelmann in Everydays: the First 5000 Days used new digital data type to encrypt the value of their artwork , others, like the trio Obvious Le portrait d’Edmond Bellamy generate new pieces of art based on AI, using huge dataset , facial recognition is now enforced by some governments and our daily lives have never relied so much on the use of data through our countless applications and software. We are using it, generating it, speaking about it but for most of us, data remains a diffuse concept. We rely on the most popular and easy-going technologies in order to facilitate our daily lives. But what will happen if we challenge those relationships through artistic exploration? What data will tell us? How will people interact with it?

The students investigated these questions over one month, with the only constraint being the use of a software: Touchdesigner.

This project was led by Romain Collaud and Lara Défayes and engineering support was given by Delphine Ribes and Yves Kalberer. Their researches focus on those — our — data: the ones that are here and we observe, the ones that we don’t know how to observe. The ones that will soon disappear, the ones that are missing, or the ones that will remain. Each of us developed our own practice, resulting in five original propositions that try to challenge our technological relationship with data through artistic expression.

  1. J. Kastrenakes, « Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million », The Verge, March 11, 2021.
  2. « Is artificial intelligence set to become art’s next medium? | Christie’s ».
  3. « Facial recognition is now rampant. The implications for our freedom are chilling | Stephanie Hare », the Guardian, August 18, 2019.
Romain Collaud

Romain Collaud

Romain is an Art Director living in Fribourg, Switzerland. In 2013, he received a BA in visual communication from ECAL & in 2017, earned a MAS in design research for digital innovation from the EPFL+ECAL Lab.