Reading: Art and the API / Google’s Dev Art


Through this week’s reding on Jen Thorp’s Art and the API and looking at some of the art projects that use APIs at Google’s Dev Art, I learnt many interesting things about developing applications and art using the data that surrounds us. By using ‘open APIs’ from big companies or other internet resources, people is now able to create up-to-date works that display this changing data in attractive and compelling ways, and at the same time make an impact through the activation and visualization of layers of information that are usually hidden or lost into the data ocean.

Wishing Wall

Many of the projects at Google’s Dev Art seek to make data visible in interesting and beautiful ways. However, in many projects of this kind the purpose of information deployment is not always clear beyond a technological and aesthetic desire. If art projects don’t delve into this topic completely, the need to do such projects is unclear to me. In my opinion the most interesting projects are the ones that use this data from APIs to reveal invisible levels or domains of information, as a way to give back to people not only the visualization but also the capacity to give feedback, either by questioning this information or through intervention and action.

If we analyze these projects from the functional point of view they present some serious shortcomings, but if we consider them as ideas and prototypes, they can be considered much more interesting. Their development allows us to imagine that there could be other interesting ways to generate more present visualization mechanisms in daily life, which may facilitate new collective behaviors and responses.

Kit de Libertad de Expresión / Freedom of Speech Kit

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