The exhibition is a fascinating - at times terrifying - examination of the data deluge of the 21st Century and how it's changing the world in which we live.
Most of us seldom think about the repercussions of our online lives, and assume that our information flutters off into the ether. Timo Arnall's eerie film proves how wrong this is; the Spanish data storage unit is an Orwellian colossal, temperature-controlled bank, strung thickly with serpentine cables. These buildings, of which there are half a million globally, use more energy than the entire airline industry. They are strictly guarded, non-places. "It’s incredible how much of the technical systems that we rely on every day are completely invisible and often seemingly unknowable," Arnall says "I think this is a real problem, in that we need to understand technologies at more than just a surface level in order to be able to act on them or critique them." His exploration of these temples to technology is sobering and strangely awe-inspiring.
Cats, of course, feature in the show: Iknowwhereyourcatlives.com by Owen Munday pinpoints on Google Maps the locations of the thousands of household pets that flood social media feeds daily. This work wrily comments upon the culture of surveillance and erosion of privacy that this data explosion has caused. Log out and lock up your felines, pronto.
We liked selfiecity; a shifting, real-time portrait of London, seen through the selfies of its inhabitants. Ryoji Ikeda's work lives between science, art, music and maths, and his shimmering installation data,tron, made of lit-up numbers and beams of light, is an arresting, almost overwhelming interpretation of data's infinitude.
Not all of the exhibits are terribly interesting - nor, it seems, relevant - but for the most part, this show is a bold and thoughtful meditation on what it means to live in 2015.
Right. We're off for a Digital Detox.
|What||Big Bang Data, Somerset House|
|Where||Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
03 Dec 15 – 28 Feb 16, Select late night openings on Thursdays and Fridays. Times are sometimes subject to change, please check the website for full details in advance of visits.
|Website||Click here to book via Somerset House|