As a means of designing an exhibition architecture that explores the vast complexity of Big Data, the theme of the 2014 CODE_n conference, KRAM/WEISSHAAR culled and combined data sets from a vast range of sources—from Google Lab's annals of digitized books, to oceanic data and the morphological paths of the human mind—to create a giant 260 meter long print that envelopes and frees the exhibition space.
The exhibition architecture was designed to act as both a metaphor for Big Data and a means to inspire new conversations and ideas at the CODE_n conference, in which 50 start-ups from 17 countries offered innovative, new business concepts harnessing the potential uses of Big Data.
In the centre of the exhibition space, an elevated agora-like platform serves as an ancillary block, housing a bar and restaurant, auditorium and a curated public space. Two raised levels are flanked by wide-set monumental stairways, one of which is wrapped in a semi-transparent textile that acts as a cinematic screen. The result is a semi-public auditorium that is at once permeable and specialised.
KRAM/WEISSHAAR designed a custom code in order to plot massive amounts of data to create the imagery which visualizes systems beyond human perception on a series of spectacular curving canvases. Contemporary data-driven innovation is represented and visualised as a massive repository of human culture and activity, able to tackle and articulate the complexity, breadth and depth of the information available within virtual spaces.
For the 260 meter-long terapixel graphics, data sets depicting the neural pathways of the human mind, the constant flux of information we receive from datapoints across the world’s oceans, and the evolution of language across four billion books from the past 200 years were projected upon a giant, filleted panorama.
RETROSPECTIVE TRENDING is a 90 metre long canopy running along the western section of the hall depicting the frequency of use of 400 specific words in books published between 1800 and 2008. Generated using Google’s Ngram books, hundreds of search terms related to themes within politics, economics, engineering, science, technology, mathematics, and philosophy were re-imagined as an overlapping series of gradients highlighting the trajectories of word usage over time.
The space of the hall is redefined by hundreds of these rotated prismatic turrets, each monuments to human innovation, enterprise, beliefs, concepts, theories and inventions; each peak and sweep a battle of relevance. That the Ngram terms are generated by a human mind in hindsight only serves to make provocative statements about the total life of the archived world.
HYDROSPHERE HYPERWALL is a visualisation of the global ocean as dynamic pathways, polychrome swathes of sea climate, data-collecting swarms of mini robots and sea animals, and plumes of narrow current systems. While 90 per cent of the ocean remains unexplored, the enormity of the uncharted blue planet can be conjured up and realized at the scale of human understanding using unprecedented quantities of satellite and in-situ data.
NASA's ECCO2 maps were interwoven with world oceanic Big Data to describe the hydrosphere's forces and flows. Sinuous lines and tassels of ever-dynamic forces are layered with a cloud of directional arrows that specify wind direction. The re-imagined surface of the Earth swirls alongside an exploded perpendicular web of data vectors in form of buoys, argo floats, research ships, wave gliders, sea creatures and research stations.
The HUMAN CONNECTOME is a morphological map of the ultimate complex system, the human brain, realized in terapixel resolution. Complete with several million multi-coloured fibre bundles and white matter tracts acquired using diffusion MRI scans, structural descriptions of the human mind were generated at 40 times the scale of the human body.
The comprehensive 3D map of human neural connections collapses the mind/brain divide with both scale and colour. Whole brain dynamics are visualised on an ultra-macro scale as well as the infinitesimal cell-scale. The resultant population of information potentiates a range of inquiries ranging from degenerative tissue damage in Alzheimer's patients to the neural basis of morality. Here, mental phenomena become tangible models prime for study, analysis and assessment for tendency and anomaly alike.