Moshin' the Data: The Evolution of the Data Mosh in the Name of Art

The articles that covered the early development of the use of the internet and social media art by An Xiao, were interesting to read.  To follow her explanation of how artists began to utilize the internet as a medium was fascinating. I found it interesting that many people utilized the different resources that were already in existence to create their art.  The Watson Jeopardy Evolution of the robot concept was really interactive and interesting with it’s opening selection of an image that carries you through the rest of the site. This brought up ideas and thoughts that perhaps we might not be ready for an AI that thinks for itself.

The use of the US Army’s own online marketing game to present an artistic protest of the Iraq war was really interesting to watch unfold.  The fact that no one within the game really had any idea what he was doing made it all the more powerful.  One can only hope that they discovered what his true meaning was and that it created some provoked thought about their activities.

One of the most entertaining portions of this article were the shower tweets by Lauren McCarthy.  To take something as mundane and commonplace as a daily shower and incorporate that with digital communication like Tweeting or “twittering” as she so eloquently put it, was a great thing to read.  We were allowed to be the voyeur during a very intimate time and invited into her mind as she presented her thoughts through her Twitter posts.

Xiao goes on not only to present these artists that are creating and joshing visual media and the internet but she also gives us a set of four components that in her opinion are crucial RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA ART below.

  1. The web must play a key role in the marketing and the expression of the art.
  2. The art created must involve the audience in some form within the social medium.
  3. The art is accessible beyond the typical art world audience but must still be conceptually rich.
  4. The art, is all about the artists intent. 

Examples of just how beautiful the mosh of the internet, textual elements, and art can be are exemplified in the examples of the QUOTIDIAN RECORD and the JOHNNY CASH PROJECT.

The conversion of gps checkins to sound in the Quotidian Record was a beautiful thing.  The sounds were melodic, and captured and converted so beautifully that one wouldn’t think that it was the result of a data mosh.

I saved THE JOHNNY CASH PROJECT to review last.  This was a beautiful and amazing connection between the crowds mourning his death, his music, and the online art world. I thoroughly enjoyed the creation of an image, and watching the video of the processes behind it.  I only wish I had known about it as it was being created.  What a grand thing to be a part of!


The Johnny Cash Project image

So, our world has become a mix, a mosh of data.  We are bombarded, and participating, and involved in our new media.  The creations that come forth from this push boundaries of what is acceptable as art and what is considered technology only.  This is a good thing. Projects like the ones presented and the video below, make the internet beautiful and interesting beyond just facts and figures.  I mean, isn’t that what art is all about really?

This article was originally written in Oct. 2014 and has been reposted for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! ~Elaine