Seeking for Outliers: Artistic Exploration of Data through Creative Practice The PhD Final Exhibition by Younghui Kim
21 of Jan – 24th Jan 2020: 10 am – 5 pm at The Block, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Musk Ave., Kelvin Grove Opening Reception: Thurs. 23 Jan 2020, 5 – 7 pm
My PhD Final Exhibition will be held soon at The Block gallery at QUT Kelvin Grove Creative Industries Precinct. My long journey of practice-led research project will be presented to the public. At the exhibition, Seeking for Outliers. there will be four sets of digital art installation that are data-driven artworks. Following The Sense of Data exhibition at Platform-L, Seoul in 2018, this exhibition shows further developed artworks with revised artistic exploration of data and additional art installation.
The artworks draw on four sets of data: environmental, social, personal, and personal photographic data. These draw on my personal experience in relations with two cities: Seoul and Brisbane. I lived in Seoul for a decade and in Brisbane for three years as a Korean-American foreigner. The first exhibition, The Sense of Data is more focused on my experience in Seoul and the final exhibition, Seeking for Outliers is to explore dynamics of these two cities with additional experience in Brisbane.
When I explored these data sets through artistic practice, I intended to let the context of data inform my approaches in making art. The dynamics of a visual, tangible form of the data artworks portrait my experience in two cities in the environmental, social, and personal aspects. Furthermore, by allowing the context of data and the performance of live data to inform visual patterns, colors, forms, and materials, I artistically explored data through art practice and further conceptualized the artwork.
This exhibition is supported by Queensland University of Technology and Creative Industries Precinct.
Great Thanks to my spouse Sam and family in both Korea and USA, the kind staff Helena at Creative Industries HDR support group, Simon at J-Block, Nigel and Blair at The Block, my colleagues at Urban Informatics Design Lab and most of all to my superb advisory team of: Dr Seevinck, Dr Payne and Dr Choi.
The modified new version of “BreatheOut” was exhibited at QUT biennial event, Robotronica 2019. I added new sensors that resemble a Calla lily flower to allow the audience to mix the data visualiszation with the live Brisbane air data. By breathing out to the flower planted in the living plant, the local Brisbane audience can add new particles that represent Brisbane PM 2.5 (Particle Matters) quality in different colors depending on the air quality status. For example, the large screen displays the current air quality of Seoul city, Gangnam-gu and the real-time air quality data from Brisbane CBD will get mixed with Seoul air in the screen by breathing out to the sensor.
During the preparation of this art exhibition, I lost my beloved father in Seoul. At the moment, I almost gave up having this exhibition but, miraculously, the timing of installation and equipment rentals have worked out well with the kind helps of many – especially Sam An and Kazan Kang from datacook. Kazan’s technical support for data algorithm has been critical for my artwork. Also many thanks to my QUT supervisors: Dr. Jen Seevinck, Dr. Alice Payne and Dr. Jaz Choi. In the end, I was able to hold this solo art exhibition at the Platform-L Contemporary Art Center from 7th of Nov to 17th of Nov 2018 as a part of Platform-L Live Arts Program 2018. Perhaps dad was looking after me after all…
Art Exhibition by Younghui Kim: The Sense of Data – Seoul 2018
Here is the quickly printed postcard with the artwork, ‘Out-Layers – Seoul 2018‘ – screen version. I had to rush out to the printer during the exhibition as I had a very limited time to prepare. Fortunately, the art exhibition has gotten strong feedbacks in the sense of sharing my artistic view of data from the Seoul audience.
In the age of massive data where our action, decisions and opinions are digitally traced, hyper-connected and shared in many technologically developed societies, the artist questions about how our everyday lives are expressed and influenced through data. This series is composed of 3 artworks; two of them are in a set of a wearable and a screen projection piece of live data associated with Seoul.
Out-Layers – Seoul 2018
In the first set, ‘Out-Layers – Seoul 2018‘, the artist visualizes the live data of selfie-related texts in the public post of Selfie using the hashtag #셀카 in Instagram – ‘셀카’ is pronounced as ‘Selca’ and means ‘Selfie’ in Korean. The algorithm set in the datacook site looks for the Korean words that are associated with five kinds of emotions and thoughts exposed in the Korean selfies in social media, categrized based on thematic analysis; then visualizes into five colors of stripes: daily – green, travel – blue, emotions – yellow, appearance – pink, and promotion – orange. These bold graphic pattern projected in a large scale on the wall are built and updated with the live data along in parallel with the colourful lights embedded in the wearable version. Both patterns are inspired by Korean traditional color pattern called, ‘Sakdong’ and Hanbok image collars called, ‘Dong Jeong‘.
The set of artworks, ‘BreatheOut – Seoul 2018′ visualizes the live data of the air quality of Seoul – specifically the micro dust pollution levels in the district of the gallery is sited.
The air we breathe out unconsciously gets mixed up with the surrounding air (in Seoul this case), and we share air by breathing in and out. We are interacting with air dust by breathing in and out, and ‘BreatheOut – Seoul 2018‘ visualizes the interaction of our breathing out, blending with the live visualization of the current air dust quality. The artist relates this idea of data that influences our everyday lives by tracing, sharing and circulating. Also, the idea of sustainability is apparent with this artistic theme as this wearable, Pancho has been created with a zero-waste pattern; a pattern that does not create trimmed throwaways of the fabric.
The large screen is full of whimsical particles in the shape of circles all moving toward one direction. The artist visualized the air particles into small circles and refers them as, ‘air bubble’. These movements of air bubbles are intentionally designed simple but computationally randomized, which creates a meditative environment where one can stare at it for a while. The live data was filtered through an algorithm in the artwork and visualized into tiny moving air bubbles in different color stages based on the AQI (Air Quality Index) Calculator provided by airnow.gov. Each layer of colors represent PM10 (coarse particle matters) , and PM2.5 (finer particle matters) status and these air bubbles are joined with pink bubbles breathed out through the wearable. PM refers an air pollutant that is harmful for health when levels in air are high. Each layer of the air bubbles is displayed in one of three colours depending on the real-time data provided by the Seoul City Open Data API: green being healthy, orange being sensitive and light pink being unhealthy for some people.
The wearable also displays the color status of micro dust in LEDs embedded, and a breathing sensor is attached to the inner layer of the mask part. We breathe in and out the very same air; therefore, the wearer also participates with the live data visualization with her breathing.
As a part of her PhD research, “Artistic Exploration of Data Through Creative Practice“, Younghui begins to explore the meaning of outliers in data through her art practice and aims to expand the use of real-time data as art material for conceptual art practice through this series. It has been a long process of exploring data through an artistic approach for her already. Therefore, this artwork is the process, not a completion of work. In Seeking for Outliers, the artist first gathered her words that she posted on the walls of Facebook for ten years of her stay in Seoul – from Feb 2007 to Jan 2017. Apparently, the dataset was large which easily crashed the data analytic tools she played with.
‘Seeking for Outliers’ has begun with the idea of searching for outliers in personal data of the artist. To trace her memories of thoughts, opinions, and actions for the ten years living in Seoul, she first gathered English words as she often posts on the wall in two languages. Then she displayed the words by the counts of the word usage into her artwork to seek for the words that reveal her thoughts based on her memory and experience.
Notably, the artist seeked for the words that were used only once or twice instead of many – such in hundreds. They might be insignificant in counts in data analysis but, these diverse words are far more exciting and significant as they might be a record of passing ephemeral thoughts. For instance, the most repeatedly used word, ‘Happy’ – 400 times, would appear larger in yellow but, it will have lesser significant, therefore, behaves lighter in weights. Its opacity is low and moves slow and floats like air.
Throught ‘Seeking for Outliers‘, Younghui tries to understand the outliers of her past with her own memories and experience and based on its revelation, she expects to continue to further practice with this concept of outliers in the close future. The video below is a clip where the artist reads word by word out loud during the exhibition.
As a part of the Platform Live Arts Program 2018, Marie Younghui Kim will have an exhibition titled, “The Sense of Data – Seoul 2018” at Platform-L Contemporary Art Center, Seoul, South Korea.
THE SENSE OF DATA BY YOUNGHUI KIM @ Platform-L
Opening Reception: Nov 7th, 2018, 7 pm
Exhibition Date: Nov 7 – Nov 17, 2018 11 am – 8 pm
Venue: The Machine Room at Plaform-L Contemporary Art Center
This exhibition is a part of her research “Artistic Exploration of Data Through Creative Practice” and supported by Platform-L and QUT (Queensland University of Technology).
<The Sense of Data> series is the third data art series following series of<Weight of Data 2016-8> and <mood.cloud-Data as Art 2014>. In the age of Big Data where our action, decisions and opinions appear to be digitally traced and hyper-connected in many digitally saturated societies, the artist questions about how our everyday lives are expressed and influenced through data. In this series, artist visualizes the live data of selfies related emotions and thoughts exposed in social media into bold graphic pattern along with colourful lights embedded in wearable; visualizes through an algorithm that uses Seoul City’s Open Datasets combined with the sensor-collected data to let data breath through wearable; and plays with the idea of her personal outliers that are leftover or unnoticed. Through this series, the artist begins to explore outliers of data through her art practice and aims to expand the use of real-time data as art material for conceptual art practice.
Technical support by datacook.org (Kazan Kang, Samuel An)
전시명 The Sense of Data 더 센스 오브 데이터
작가명 Younghui Kim 김영희
일시 11월7일 – 11월 17일 11 am –8 pm
장소 플랫폼엘 머신룸
티켓 무료 관람
<The Sense of Data – Seoul 2018> 시리즈는 2014년도에 창작된 <mood.cloud-Data as Art>와 2016-2018년에 전시된 <Weight of Data>를 잇는 세번째 데이터 아트 시리즈로 초연결시대 삶의 흔적인 데이터를 통해 분석되고 예측되는 현대인들의 일상이 데이터에 의해 표현되고 영향을 받게 되는 현상에 대하여 질문을 던지기 시작한다. 이번 시리즈는 소셜미디어에 노출되고 있는 셀피 속 라이브한 감정과 생각을 분석하여 볼드 한 그래픽과 추상적 빛으로 시각화한 작품과 서울시 오픈데이터와 센서로 측정되는 환경데이터를 작가가 생각한 알고리즘에 따라 리얼타임으로 호흡하는 웨어러블 작품, 그리고 데이터 분석과 해석에서 버려지고 무시될 수 있는 소수의 의미를 찾아 고민한 작품을 선보인다. 김영희 작가는 이번 시리즈를 계기로 데이터 분석에서 무시되어지는 소수의 의미인 데이터 아웃라이어에 대한 예술적 이해와 탐구를 시작했으며 이러한 데이터 속 아웃라이어의 사회적 의미를 예술적 영역으로 확장시킬 수 있는 가능성을 탐색해 본다.
Trading Live feeds that has been calculated in Kg of Sugar, Rice and Salt per 1 Bit Coin and/or Lite Coin
Except for sugarcubes, I had to purchase 1 Kg of raw rice and sea salt in Montreal. I didn’t bring the balance with me so, I bought each packaged in 1 Kg. The value of cryptocurrency has peaked over 2 years so I had to add another digit for the screen interface in Processing. The left photo above is the screen of the Sugar installation piece in 2018 and the right one is from the exhibition in 2016. It was expected but, surprised by the scale of increment.
Are we putting even higher value in digital data now?
Artist Talk & Workshop: May 12th, 2016 7-9 pm (RSVP here)
오는 5월7일 미디어아티스트 김영희 작가의 실험전시 WEIGHT OF DATA – Data, Commodities and Art 가 오후 6시-8시에 오프닝을 갖습니다. 쌀 Rice, 설탕 Sugar, 소금 Salt – 이 3가지의 곡물을 가지고 실시간 추적되는 데이터에 의한 설치작품을 선보이며 디지털컬쳐화되고 있는 현 시대에 있어 개개인에게 비슷하지만 다르게 다가오는 데이터의 의미와 가능성에 대하여 작가는 질문을 던집니다.
Media artist, Marie Younghui Kim is having her exploratory solo exhibition, WEIGHT OF DATA – Data, Commodities and Art at 6 – 8 pm coming Thurs, May 7th, 2016. She throws a question on what does data relation mean to you by following a real-time commodity trading data and displaying into light installations made of 1 Kg of Rice, Sugar and Salt – 3 edible commodities we eat everyday.
껍질을 벗긴 흰쌀을 한 줌 손에 쥐어서 불빛 아래 자세히 살펴보면 단단한 알갱이들은 각자 다른 약간의 투명함을 지녔다.설탕, 소금 또한 한 줌 손에 쥐면 거칠고 하얀 알갱이들은 조금씩 다른 형태를 보이며 빛난다. 쌀, 설탕, 소금 – 작가가 선택한 이 3종류의 백색 식품은 우리 주위에서 매우 흔히 접할 수 있으며, 긴 역사와 함께 우리의 문화속에 깊이 자리잡고 있다.그리고 작가 스스로도 포함되지만 많은 이들이 매일 섭취하고 있는 식품이다.
When you look up closely raw rice in your palm under light, solid grains shine through their opacity and texture. Same with sugar and salt, white grains are a bit rough but, shining through tiny, uneven shapes. Rice, Sugar, Salt – these three kind of white products are something we frequently consume and related deeply with our culture and economy.
작가가 이번 작품에 곡물중심의 Commodity를 매개로 선택한 이유는 사용한 쌀, 소금, 설탕은 과거 화폐대신 사용되었을 만큼 가치가 컸고 전쟁을 일으킬 만큼 소중한 Commodity였지만지금은주방에서 가장 흔하게 볼 수 있는 것 들이다.광물과 달리 생산량을 증대할 수 있는 곡물류의 특징으로대량 생산에 의해 그 가격은 지속적으로 하락하고 있다는 점과최근에는 3백색 식품으로 중독적이며 건강에 좋지 않다는 이유로 천대 받고 있다는 공통점도 있다. 또한, 이 곡물들이 무게로 거래되고 있다는 공통점이 있다.
The artist has chosen agricultural commodities as metaphors because rice, salt and sugar used to be traded as a currency in old days and caused wars in history. These valuable commodities are something you see in every kitchen counter in modern life. Unlike of mining commodities, mass productions of agriculture can be controlled and through mass production, their values are dropping. Also, these three white foods are avoided for their unhealthy addiction. These three commodities are all traded in weights.
이처럼 우리에게 익숙한 원자재들이지만 데이터의 상간관계에 의해 표현되는 다양한 각도에서의 가치의 변화는 우리에게 낮설게 다가온다. 이러한 친숙함과 낯섬 그리고 물질과 비물질의 관계에 대한 실험적 마인드가 Commodity작업을 선택하게 된 이유이다.
Being abundant, these commodities are very familiar to us but, they seem unfamiliar when they are represented in a circumstance where their values are displayed in weight in relation to other value in real-time data.
쌀, 소금, 설탕을 소재로 그리고 그에 대한 데이터를 주제로 작품을 진행하면서 느끼는 점은 어떤 이들에게 데이터가 많은 숫자와 통계로 보일 수 있지만 내게는 이야기를 내포하고 있는 예술적 소재로 보인다.
While working on art piece with the subject of Rice, Salt, Sugar, the artist felt that data is something in numbers and statistic to someone but, to the artist, the context of data itself is an artistic theme.
In Korea, rice is more than just an edible product – it is a cultural brand and a sacred grain. ‘take a meal’ literally is being expressed as ‘eating rice’ in Korea.
In Japan and Korea and other Asian countries, tax , debt and salaries used to be paid in Rice Currency in history. In the state of South Carolina, Rice Currency was also used in order to collect tax in 1793. Such historical records shows that rice was a measurement of wealth and value in old days in some parts of world.
인류는 약 8,200-13,500년전에 벼농사를 시작하였다. (쌀농사의 기원에 대해서는 아직도 여러 논쟁이 있지만 세계고고학자들은 중국의 양츠강 계곡에서 벼농사를 시작한 유적을 근거로 삼고 있다.)매우 귀하게 농사를 지어서 생산해 내었던 쌀은 한국, 일본, 필리핀, 버어마과 같은 동양권의 나라에서 화폐대신 사용되었었던 Commodity였다.1793년 미국 사우스캐롤리나에서도 Rice Currency를 사용하여 1.2백만 파운드의 쌀을 징수한 적이 있었다.이렇듯 과거에는 쌀로 부를 측정하였으며 상품의 가치를 쌀로 측정하였고, 세금, 인건비와 체납비도 쌀로 지불하였었다.
현재 세계인구가 섭취하는 총 양의 5분의 1이상을 쌀로 섭취하는 만큼 쌀은 인간의 영양소와 칼로리에 있어 가장 중요한 곡물이며 전 생산량의 8%도 안되는 생산량이 세계적으로 거래되기에 실제 생산량은 매우 다르며 다수의 나라들이 쌀을 전략적 실량물자로 보고 무역을 관리하고 있다.
또한 쌀은 한민족에게 단순히 먹거리 이상의 문화적 상징이며 어떤 면에서 보면 귀히 여기는 곡물이라고 할 수 있다.‘식사한다’ = ‘밥을 먹는다’ 라고 표현하듯이 쌀로 모든 식문화가 집중된 특이점을 가지고 있다.
지금 현재 (2016.4.8) Rice는 Commodity 마켓에서 9.85 USD/CWT로 거래되고 있다.
Currently (2016.4.8), Rice is being traded in 9.85 USD/CWT in commodity market.
Sugar는 세계를 움직여온 세계상품 중 첫 사례이다.16세기에서 19세기에 걸쳐 전 세계의 정치가들과 실업가들은 설탕의 생산권 확보와 그 유통의 장악 문제를 놓고 고심했다.그 결과 브라질이나 카리브 해의 섬들에 사탕수수 생산을 위한 식민지 플랜테이션 농장이 만들어졌다.(그로 인하여 아프리카 노예시장이 형성되었으며 차후 미국남북전쟁의 원인이 되었다.) 17세기 경, 캐리비언섬 바베이도스에서는 설탕, 럼, 면과 같은 원자재상품이 ‘화폐’의 가치를 대신하였던 기록이 있다.
Sugar was a trading product that moved the world. During 16th – 19th Century, politicians and business men pursue to control the trade market and plantations of Sugar. Therefore, slaves markets were formed parallel to the plantations in Caribbean colonies. (relevant to the US civil war cause)
설탕은 고열량을 낼 수 있는 음식이기도 하고 단 맛을 내는 감미료이기 때문에 전쟁 같은 국가 비상사태 시 군인들의 식사 대용 및 사기 증진에 중요하여 중요 보급물자 대상이 된다.또한 발효하면 알코올을 만들어 연료를 만들 수도 있기 때문에, 전쟁 시 유통이 통제되는 물자 1순위이다.
2011년도에는 전 세계적으로 약 1억8천6백만 톤의 설탕을 생산하였다.평균적으로 한사람 당 1년에 약 24-33.1 Kg의 설탕을 섭취하였고, 그 양은 1인당 하루 260 칼로리의 열량과 같다.현재 여러 나라에서 설탕의 과잉섭취의 피해를 막기위해 설탕세 도입에 대한 안을 구상하고 있다.
Sugar는 국제원자재거래시장정보에 의하면, 2016년 4월 8일 현재 1lb(파운드)당 14.68센트에 거래되고 있다.
소금은 모든 생물에게 필수적인 요소이며 짠 맛은 단 맛처럼 인간의 가장 기본적 미각의 하나이다.
Salt is an essential element of life and saltiness is one of basic taste of human.
In many cultures, salt is used in sacred ceremonies. This small volcanic figure of 1 Kg of salt is not grand but, illuminates in a large mystery.
Salt is 8,000 years old commodity in some theory and it used to be highly valuable as gold in weight (6C., rock salt in ancient Ethiopia). ‘Salary’ means ‘salt’ in Latin and ancient Romans paid labor fee in salt.
Salt is sacred and practiced in important ceremonies in different cultures. In Korea, there is a custom of throwing salt to scare away ill lucks.
In this installation, salt has been sprinkled on the clear acrylic until it’s filed up. The artist wanted to display it in a sacred way for audience to stare in wonder.
Salt is essential for living but, it is being avoided for over consumption in modern life. Salt is not presented world trade markets as the price ranges are broad as there are cheap salts to expensive gourmet salts. Korean sea salt was price 3500-12800 KRW per 1Kg and online store, Chinese imported rock salt is priced $48-50 / 27 Metric Tons (=27,000 Kg).
8,000년즈음에 가장 최초로 소금을 생산하였다는 설이 있으며 고대에 소금은 소중한 가치를 지녔었다. 단어 ‘Salary’는 라틴어로 ‘소금’을 의미한다.로마시대에는 종종 소금으로 인건비를 지불하였으며 지금의 이디오피아 지역인 아프리카의 아비시니아에서는 소금(암염 Rock Salt)이 화폐로 사용되었었다.6세기에는 소금이 금과 같은 무게로 거래될만큼 가치가 높았다.
소금의 성스러움과 필요성은 전쟁을 일으켰으며 과거 소금으로 세금을 받아내기도 하였다. 여러 문화에서 소금은 종교적인 의식이나 결혼식에 사용되며 지금도 유럽에서는 손님에게 소금과 빵을 대접하는 풍습이 있는 곳이 있다.염장음식을 즐겨먹는 한국문화에서도 소금은 매우 중요한 식품이며 액을 물리친다는 풍습이 있다.
생물의 생존에 필수적인 소금은 대체할 수 없고 염분부족은 염분과다보다 훨씬 더 위험하기 때문이다.현대에 와서는 성인병의 원인이 되는 소금섭취량을 줄이기 위한 캠페인을 벌이고 있다.
현대에 와서 200 million (2억)톤의 소금을 년간 생산하지만 단지 6%만 식품으로 사용된다.또한 소금은 구하기가 매우 쉽지만 국제거래시장에서 거래되고 있지 않는다.그 이유는소금의 종류에 따라 가격차이가 매우 크며,자체 생산하거나 필요에 따라 계약을 통하여 무역을 하고있는 지역제한적인 Commodity라고 할 수 있다. 도로 제설용소금은 1톤당 약 $40-50에 거래되자만 화학산업에서 사용되는 소금은 약 $150/톤으로 거래되고 있다.프랑스의 고급식요소금은 $70,000/톤으로 거래되고 있다.
( 국내 천일염은 소매로 1Kg에 약 3500 -12800원 정도에 판매하고 있으며 알리바바 온라인 도매스토어에서는 식용의 중국산 소금(암염)이27 Metirc Tons (27,000 Kg)에 $48-58에 거래되고 있다.)
‘지나간 생각, 다시 Passed Thoughts, Again’ is the second annual exhibition by the MAG (Media Artists Group) art students + artists group formed together with Penser – media art students group in Hongik University (Advisor: Younghui Kim) and 259 – art students group in Yensei University. To contribute to their passionate exhibition, I presented one of my new work in progress project.
, 2016 – Data Art – Work in Progress
(Electronic Citation on Idealogical Rice)
What value does RICE represent to us today?
Rice used to be exchanged as a currency in old Korea. People used to pay tax in bags of rice. Rice is still sacred in this society and is commodity that is being protected from global market and holds political and economical idea and value.
With all the complexity what Rice represent in this culture, the artist is throwing an open question by contrasting the old currency (Rice) and the new currency (Bit Coin) and see its value and changes in relations to each other.
An artwork of a string full of rice in 1 Kg is representing the real-time value changes of one of the commodity, Rice in relation to the value of a Bit Coin that is being exchanged in market every minute. The data algorithm calculates __Kg of rice which one Bit Coin can buy according to the market exchange values then display in different colors of lighting pattern based on its rises and fall.