Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seminar 6 Ronan Devlin Position Statement


Ronan Devlin


a data art collaboration with:

vian bakir, ant dickinson, carwyn edwards, michael flückiger, gillian jein & jamie woodruff

Our technologies watch us. Digital devices track our everyday actions, communications and purchases in both real and virtual realms. This information mapping is employed by governments to monitor activity, and corporations to target and manipulate the public via ‘smart’ advertising techniques. 

Working in opposition to this invisible information capture, Veillance is a web application artwork which renders these territories of data surveillance as a real-time typographic map of individual and collective audience experience. Referencing ‘cut up’ writing techniques and Concrete (or shape) Poetry, the work’s data-scraping and visualisation system continually transforms audience information, which is transparently gathered with clear consent, into real-time poetic narratives. The result is an ever-expanding rhizomatic structure woven from interconnected audience experience.

This information environment may be experienced and navigated through from various perspectives. From a microscopic position the audience member follows a moving pathway of real-time self generated typographic assemblages, with accompanied text-to-speech sound. From a macroscopic vantage point the traveler perceives the ‘datasphere’ as a whole and may view and engage with text clusters generated by other participants in the expansive, chattering typographic constellation. 

With audience information as its medium, the artwork aims to invite experimentation with, and questions ownership of, the data we generate. The project seeks to re-assert our roles as (creative) producers of information as opposed to subservient consumers or targets, recognizing the virtual realm as a living environment we co-habit. 

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