My source for the data crystals are open datasets, which is data that is freely available for the public to use. Specifically, the city of San Francisco provides a project called The Open Data Portal — a website that includes geo-located data sets ranging from incidents of crime to where all the parking meters are to construction permits. Other cities all over the country are embarking on similar open data projects.

The importance of open data is manyfold, with the obvious one of transparency. But for someone such as myself who constructs art objects with data, the difficulty has been getting access to rich datasets that are relatively easy to use. Over the next several years, data from the Open Data Portal will evolve into realtime datastreams with interfaces for public access. I expect to see an explosion of helpful apps and creative reuse of data.

I see data as sculptural material, like clay, plaster or steel. By using code to transform columns of numbers into 3D models, I call myself a “data miner,” where I extract data into small gems. I’m still experimenting with legibility and aesthetics. The primary question that drives this work is the question of “what does data look like?”

Data Crystal Clustering from Scott Kildall on Vimeo.

Scott Kildall is cross-disciplinary artist who writes algorithms that transform various datasets into 3D sculptures and installations. The resulting artworks often invite public participation through direct interaction.

His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the New York Hall of Science, Transmediale, the Venice Biennale and the San Jose Museum of Art. 

He has received fellowships, awards and residencies from organizations including SETI Institute, Autodesk, Impakt Works, Recology San Francisco,, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Kala Art Institute and The Banff Centre for the Arts.

project site

>>>RETURN TO ART2Code Index