New Client Announcement: Dataland
A new initiative spearheaded by Refik Anadol Studios brings a new space for data visualization and AI arts
Opportunities have a unique way of presenting themselves. You cannot control when or how opportunities arise. You can, however, keep yourself prepared. So when they come around, you can embrace them. One such opportunity came my way in fall 2022. I was connected with Refik Anadol and his studio. His team, through a new brand Dataland, is building out a museum for data visualization and artificial intelligence (AI) arts. I have contributed to similar efforts in the past: Gray Area in San Francisco and Museum of Digital Art (MuDA) in Zurich. I believe digital artists deserve a space, an institution, to support them. To hear that Refik, one of the preeminent fine artists in our space, is doing this, has me extremely excited and optimistic. To consult and be a part of the Dataland team was the opportunity presented to me; specifically overseeing the website and mobile app. I took that opportunity. Now, I am thrilled to share our first (of many) announcements.
What is Dataland?
Dataland will be a museum and web3 platform dedicated to data visualization and AI arts. The first project of both data visualization and AI arts at Dataland is the Large Nature Model. It is “the world’s first open source, generative AI model dedicated to nature, trained on the most extensive, ethically collected dataset of the natural world.” Immersive art installations using the model and made by Refik Anadol Studio will commemorate the museum when it opens.
On the cutting edge, but also from the past
While this sort of announcement is thrilling, there are other reasons that keep me optimistic. First, Dataland represents an artistic practice expanding into a broader more entrepreneurial one. This type of growth is something I struggle with. So, to help a fellow artist out offers teachings for my own practice. Second, many of the ambitions for Dataland are firsts in the museum space: ones where the digital footprint are opportunities for meaningful experiences. While it will be paramount to quickly navigate the website to reserve tickets like all museums, this site demands to be a destination to interact with the same works presented in the gallery. My imagination runs wild with the possibilities here. Lastly, Refik earned his MFA from UCLA’s Design | Media Arts (DMA) program. The same program I earned my BA. We are also working with Use All Five to develop the site. The founders are also DMA graduates. Side note: they also hired me for my first developer job. These DMA connections are present throughout the entire team. It is comforting to reconnect with my alma mater in this way.
Each of these reasons presents a compelling opportunity for me: artistically, technically, and professionally. This brings a lot of optimism: for my day-to-day work activities, for the digital arts space, and its future.
More over the coming months,