Remember when data was just an exhaustive list of numbers and art was just confined to paint and paper? Well, life was certainly duller back then. Today, we’re looking at a larger-than-life installation at ArtScience Museum, exhibiting none other than data painting, as this month-long streak of i Light Singapore activities take over our city scape.
Mother earth is the main character here, as presented by Ouchhh Studio, a data-painting company, which has accumulated 40 years worth of data related to Singapore’s climate change, roping in data like air quality, CO2 transmission and more, to form a transformative graphic. By using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, the data collected is funnelled through an experiential framework. Simply put, in the words of Ferdi Alici, co-founder of Ouchh, “We use data as paint, algorithms as a brush and architecture as a canvas. We’re not looking to find scientific propositions, but we’re trying to find different ways to create art with the same pipeline.”
With 52 art pieces peppered across the world since its launch 12 years ago, Ouchhh has made its presence known in the data painting realm—with a well-oiled machine of 25 people ranging from artists, engineers, coders, animators and designers. You can also expect to see one of their artworks making a suave cameo in the upcoming Mission Impossible 7, slated for release next year. As pioneers of the technology, Ouchhh’s role has also ventured beyond creators and now, they inform a purpose.
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Prior to this exhibit in Singapore, Ouchhh had created a permanent art piece with climate data for the biggest construction company in China, specifically using data from Beijing. “Before this project, we’ve observed climate change in the past 40 years with carbon emission data. It is so important to us, that if our civilisation doesn’t take action, our planet will end,” says Alici.
Instead of putting the message on blast, the approach of ‘Motherearth ClimateChange Data Structure’ is subdued and immersive all at the same time. Alici elaborates: “When people see our artwork and are mesmerised by it and share it, then they will start to try to understand the story behind it as a researcher. Then they’ll realise that there’s a very important message behind that piece of artwork. It’s more malleable than doing big typography for us. So that’s why our expectation for ‘Motherearth ClimateChange Data Structure’ is that once people experience the art, they’ll share it and slowly realise the problem.”
‘Motherearth ClimateChange Data Structure’ by Ouchhh will be available till 26 June at ArtScience Museum.