Data Decay

Stereo, Color HD
2009 (revised 2015, 2018)

Abstract Sonification/Visualization illustrating the misuse of data in biased research

How neutral is data?

The knowledge created from data-based research has the strength to shape political policy and public opinion; it yields immense power of persuasion. Today there are many studies conducted by privately financed think tanks whose goals are to produce counter-studies to any findings that might disrupt the powers in place. This may include baseless conclusions, falsified data, or simply cherry-picking real numbers to fit the desired narrative (e.g, ’scientific’ papers refuting climate change*).

Data Decay (v3) attempts to illustrate this dichotomy between ‘neutral’ and ‘biased’ research by and employing real data (depending on the installation context) in two opposing ways.

First, the numbers are used to generate accurate sonic and visual depictions of the data using simple elements (pixel, sine wave, primary color). Then the same data is used again, this time warped and exaggerated, creating a completely different and paradoxal result which violently disrupts the initial neutral view.  This divergence can be seen as a depiction of current struggles to dominate narrative, knowledge and public opinion using honest and dishonest interpretations of the same data.

*In 2017, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a UK climate denying think tank, admitted that it’s Chairman Nigel Lawson used false data on BBC. Previously, a 2016 report published by GWPF focuses on satellite temperature data from University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) showing a global cooling trend, even though the data was reviewed and found to be erroneous nearly ten years before (2006) by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).


A l’epreuve de l’eau, Fondation François Schneider, 2018-2019
Ososphere, Strasbourg 2105

Harvestworks, NY 2009
SXSW Interactive (Austin Museum of Digital Art Showcase), Austin 2009
Visionsonic Festival, Paris 2010
LPM Festival, Rome 2010
Videoformes Festival, Clermont Ferrand 2011

Data5 Data8 Data3