Big Data in Barcelone

   Big Bang Data, CCCB

There are only a few days left to visit the Big Bang Data exhibition that has been taking place in the heart of Barcelona, at CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona). 

In a time where Big Data – this huge field of digitalised personal information that mobile phone companies, internet service providers or web enterprises collect and sometimes exploit for commercial purposes – has become a new stake for business models, for the future of global economy and a crucial question concerning data privacy (according to some searchers like Adam Greenfield, Evegeny Morozov or Jeremy Rifkin), it is interesting to look how digital artists try to stress out this phenomena of data amplification and what more-democratic-solutions they eventually propose to allow the people to “reclaim” their data.

More of the installations express particularly well this inflated amount of information circulating through mobile, social and web networks: the multi-screening piece of Timo Arnall’s Internet Machine that focus on Telefonica biggest datacenter in Spain; the flux of faces and social networks profiles that Christopher Baker sets on a teeming digital wall (Hello World!) or that Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico download to register without their user’s knowledge on a dating website (Face To Facebook).


Bigbang Data
Hello World! | Christopher Baker


It looks evident through all of them that this growing stock of data is now part of our “back-office” daily life, interfering as well with upcoming internet of things (like this connected fork to help people to eat healthier!), but it looks also that some initiatives can be made to give more clarity to the use of these data.

This is the principle of the idea of “open data” that drives new actions like Safecast, a global project set up after Fukushima disaster to empower people with data, primarily by mapping radiation levels and building a sensor network, in order to enable people to contribute and freely use the data collected.


The film reveals the hidden materiality of our data by exploring some of the machines through which ‘the cloud’ is transmitted and transformed.


Big Bang Data until the 16th of November 

CCCB - Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona

Laurent Catala