Critically acclaimed artists join ODI’s Data as Culture programme

The ODI is marking the start of its third Data as Culture season, by introducing its first Artists in Residence: the internationally acclaimed Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana.

The artists join Data as Culture 3, with the newly appointed Associate Curator in Residence, Hannah Redler. The appointments support the ODI's growing commitment to working with practising artists who respond to open data as a subject and material, and can create works that build an understanding of the role of data in culture.

The residencies will explore the implications of an emerging open data ecosystem, including social interactions, habits and future behavioural trends. In addition to exhibition space, the ODI is providing the residents with unprecedented access to its expert staff and associates, in-depth open data training, a residency fee and a space to develop and further invest in their ideas.

Hannah Redler, Associate Curator in Residence at the ODI said:

The Data as Culture art programme is defined by a commitment to open data culture. I’m very excited about working with Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana to imagine and speculate on the many questions the ODI’s work raises. Artists are renowned for their ability to critically unearth new perspectives of emerging cultural and social spaces and its meaning to communities and individuals. I’m expecting to have lots of fun, be challenged, provoked and pleasingly surprised by the works produced, as we open the ODI to the critical minds of some of the UK’s most exciting artists.

Thomson & Craighead’s residency will begin in February and run to June 2015. Caruana’s residency will begin in July and end in December 2015. The artists’ existing works will be exhibited at the ODI and their free solo exhibitions will be open to all.

Thomson & Craighead said:

We’re looking forward to working as embedded artists at the ODI and exploring its multifaceted work and research. Much of our own artwork to date looks at what it means to aggregate and interconnect large bodies of information, while considering how mechanisms like the World Wide Web alter, extend and distort our understanding of the world around us. The ODI offers a fertile environment for us to learn so much more about this, and we can’t wait to see what can come of the time we spend there.”

Natasha Caruana comments:

My art practice to date has always dabbled with data, looking at statistics of love and infidelity. To be given this opportunity, as Artist in Residence at the ODI will push my previous pseudo-analysis head-first into the world of data. I’m very excited to create a new body of work supported by the ODI and to see what appears from playing with the enormous possibilities of everyday statistics.

The overarching theme of the Data as Culture 3 season is “Data Anthropologies”. It critically positions humans at the centre of emerging data landscapes, as a collection of innovative artistic explorations from emerging, mid-career and established artists utilising open data as art materials. It will be launched formally in late March.

Today’s announcement follows two successful years of Data as Culture, including exhibitions by artists that explore the role of data in our lives. Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana’s existing works will feature in the series this year as part of their residencies. Being developed alongside the Artists in Residence commissions is acclaimed artist, Julie Freeman’s ongoing work, “We Need Us”: co-commissioned by the ODI and digital arts programme, The Space, and launched in October 2014 at TED Global in Rio.