Exhibition "Numerical Existence - Emergencies"

Wed27Mar(Mar 27)11:00sun23Jun(jun 23)20:00Exhibition "Numerical Existence - Emergencies"In its second edition, the project sponsored by Oi presents 11 installations by nine artists and collectives, which address topics such as fake news, climate change, identity issues and the appreciation of scienceFuturos Cultural Center - Art and Technology, Rua Dois de Novembro, 63 - Flamengo - Rio de Janeiro - RJ


The exhibition curatorial team Numerical Existence – Emergencies, Barbara Castro, Doris Kosminsky and Luiz Ludwig, on display at the cultural center Futures – Art and Technology, will lead the mediated visits carried out during the 22th National Museum Week, which this year has the theme “Museums, Education and Research”. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn and understand more about data-based art, with the trio who, in addition to being responsible for organizing the exhibition, also signed some works. The meetings will take place on May 15th (14:30 pm), May 16th (14:30 pm), May 17th (15:30 pm) and May 19th (16:30 pm). Entry is free, but prior registration is required through the platform Sympla

The exhibition Numerical Existence – Emergencies, which continues until June 23rd, brings together Brazilian and foreign artists who use data as raw material in an artistic representation of contemporary issues in society. Curated by Barbara Castro, Doris Kosminsky and Luiz Ludwig, the exhibition, which in 2018 attracted more than 25 thousand visitors, addresses emergency themes that are on the agenda of current debates, including climate change, identity issues and valorization of science.

There will be 11 works created from the points of view of nine artists and/or collectives, from those that employ sophisticated technologies and large volumes of data, to those more focused on social criticism. Numerical Existence – Emergencies is sponsored by Oi and the State Secretariat for Culture and Creative Economy of Rio de Janeiro, through the Culture Incentive Law, and cultural support from Oi Futuro.

If in the first edition of the exhibition, the curators wanted to present to the public what artistic data visualization was, in this edition the team focused on bringing data-based art in a more comprehensive way. On the other hand, this curation has a more defined thematic axis. The socio-environmental issues of the selected works show how artists use data to carry out deeper questions and reflections than the technological, strategic and corporate use in which they are usually associated.


Among the highlights of this second edition is the participation of Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási, recognized as the “Pope” of data networks, who applies his experience in big data and network science to transform research into art. The artist presents three works in the exhibition, among them, “Fake News”, a generative 3D animation, based on data from the Network Science Institute's Fake News Observatory in Boston, United States, which revealed the 12 profiles out of 200.000 that played a crucial role in the spread of fake news during the Covid-19 vaccine rollout on the platform (ex-Twitter). An embroidered linen is the format used in “Emergencies”, a work in which the artist uses data from cell phone calls in emergency situations to trace the connection of human reactions to a series of life-threatening events. Already in “150 years of Nature”, a tribute to the oldest and most important science publication, Barabási performs a data-based analysis of the journal's entire history, mapping the extensive co-citation network that connects the 88.000 articles published since 1900.

The Italian designer Giorgia Lupi, defender of data humanism, brings to the exhibition Numerical Existence – Emergencies the installation “The Changing Room”. Created during the period when the artist worked at the Accurat studio, the work is a 'data tapestry' about twenty meters long, which illustrates how multiple aspects of our environment have changed in recent centuries and how they are still in process and, probably , will continue to transform. Through the repetition of visual modules and the combination of different data sources that portray the world from both a global and local perspective, the installation offers the possibility of observing the transformations that involve the planet, humans and other living beings throughout the world. Anthropocene era.

Mimi Ọnụọha, a Nigerian-American artist who questions and exposes the contradictory logics of technological progress, brings the installation “We Aggregates 3.0”, a collection of photos from his family's personal archive – never published online – alongside images that Google's reverse image search algorithms categorize as similar to photos from the archive. An infinitely scrolling video points out the infinite collections of data captured by Silicon Valley technology companies and the images highlight the ferocity of the act of social classification.

In contrast to data visualization that uses symbols to represent meanings, the Austrian Dietmar Offenhuber brings the installation “Traces of Pollution”, which demonstrates air pollution. The work draws attention to the dust residue on the city's surfaces and was portrayed through reverse graffiti carried out in public spaces, making the accumulated pollution visible by partially removing it.

Still under the theme of atmospheric issues, in an approach to the impact that such conditions can cause at the origin of various health problems, researchers Doris Kosminsky, who is part of the exhibition's curatorial board, alongside Claudio Esperança and Ximena Illarramendi, use data from the Amplia Saúde project, developed by UFRJ and Fiocruz, to produce the work “Gestagrama, landscape of inequality”. The work presents atmospheric pollution as one of the causes of low birth weight in Brazilian babies. A random video will allow the visualization of data from 400 municipalities, in a landscape that seeks to stimulate a broad reflection on the inequalities experienced during pregnancy and birth.

Portuguese project Pedro Miguel Cruz in partnership with the American Chloe Hudson Prock, The work “The Perfect Storm” is an installation that uses the hurricane as a metaphor for the feeling of imminent threat. The artist wants the public to visualize the link between capitalist systems and climate change. The work visualizes the contrast between carbon dioxide emissions and the climate risk index in different countries, leading the public to reflect on dependence on fossil fuels.

Criticism is also present in the unpublished work “Nortitude”, by Brazilian designer Luiz Ludwig, curator of the exhibition, which brings an unfolding of his doctoral research. The work addresses the trajectory that data takes until a person can access a website and explores the fact that most of the pages accessed by Brazilians are hosted on servers abroad, mostly in the northern hemisphere, reinforcing the continuity of colonialism, now digitally. Using a touch screen, the visitor will enter an address on the internet and discover where this data is stored.

The study by a group of Brazilian anthropologists from the National Museum and data visualization researchers from the University of Potsdam will be demonstrated in “Tangles of the Xingú”, an interactive video installation that shows how the relationships that indigenous communities observe with their objects, places and rites differ profoundly from those established by inhabitants of urban communities. The researchers worked together with communities in the Alto Xingú, identifying the intertwining between pieces, myths and spiritual entities in the formation and ways of life of these populations. In this work, visitors can navigate an interactive diagram that plays videos about the selected concepts.

Brazil is also present in the work "Woods", by artist and exhibition curator Barbara Castro, in an artistic visualization that uses an algorithm to represent deforestation data in the Legal Amazon from 1988 to 2022. The mathematical patterns present in the algorithms refer to trees and lungs, in an interactive proposal that invites the visitor to synchronize their breathing with the animation. Each year is a breathing cycle that becomes shorter and smaller according to data on the annual deforestation rate made available by the Federal Government in the PRODES – Amazônia project.

Exhibition | Numerical Existence – Emergencies
From March 27 to June 23
Wednesday to Sunday – 11am to 20pm (Monday and closed)


March 27, 2024 11:00 - June 23, 2024 20:00(GMT-03:00)


Futuros Cultural Center - Art and Technology

Rua Dois de Novembro, 63 - Flamengo - Rio de Janeiro - RJ

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