DATA AS ART is an ongoing science & art project in development at NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It visualises science data (in its widest definition), to create stunning and thought-provoking artworks, using real Antarctic data-sets that explain important and exciting science stories. These pieces of art are on display at the British Antarctic Survey headquarters in Cambridge.
The DATA AS ART concept sits directly within the UK Governments ‘science and society’ aspirations, to engage a wide range of people in science through a variety of methods.
BAS started developing this concept of DATA AS ART and exploring outlets where these artworks can be displayed as part of an exhibition to highlight BAS science at the poles, NERC-funded research and highlight NERC’s 50th anniversary year in 2015.
This project aims to engage scientists, artists and the public, by creating dramatic and powerful artworks that are visually engaging and help to explain complex science and their importance. Four initial artworks have been created as a proof of concept and to gauge opinion and reaction. The works currently include the following science/data sets: bathymetrical data from RRS James Clark Ross; satellite hyper-spectral data showing icebergs and forming sea ice; radio-echo data revealing the sub-glacial Gambertsev mountain range and electron precipitation from the Sun. Each artwork has accompanying text and graphics to put the work into a scientific context and answer the important question of ‘why is this data important for society?’
The Innovation Showcase explains how innovative science and technology is helping or, in future, could substantially help the goals of COP26 and of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enabling adaptation to climate change or informing action related to climate change.