Techart Conference

| 2022 TechArt Conference | 


Session 1: Reflections on Datafication and Sensibility

When Data Science and Art Collide

Benzi, Kirell (Data Artist, Switzerland)


In this talk I will try to demonstrate that cold data can be transformed into complex and emotional pieces. We will start our journey by defining precisely the similarities and differences between Data Art and data visualization. We will then talk about the design process that goes around creating a data-driven artwork and illustrate it visually with “Jazz Luminaries”, a piece made from the Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF) archive. The MJF is one of the most popular music festivals in the world with a massive amount of data since its inception in 1967. In this example, I will go through the data collection process, and explain some visualizations showcasing the location of artists that came to play there and the evolution of music genres at the Festival. Finally, I’ll explain how the data art piece was constructed and put together for its final display on location. The presentation will then continue with two other data art pieces: a very colorful one on the Higgs Boson discovery and its communication on Twitter; another on the strange and mysterious patterns of human displacement in a train station. We will also demonstrate that the use of artificial intelligence can surely influence the design of a piece and constitutes a formidable help in our toolkit. To conclude this talk and open new perspectives, I will show that Data Art is actually much larger than artistic data visualization and that we can use any form of representation as long as it is parametrized by a dataset.


Dr. Kirell Benzi is a data artist, public speaker and researcher. His work revolves around the creation of visual experiences that inspire, educate and empower large audiences using state-of-the-art technology. Through a hypnotic visual semantic, he tries to demonstrate that algorithms have a soul; and that we can create positive emotions from complexity using methods that come straight from scientific research. Kirell holds a Ph.D. in Data Science from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and teaches data visualization at various universities.