Fermenting Data is a long-term curatorial project engaging in sensing and sense-making with data and fermentation. It is dedicated to reclaiming data as common practice rather than being assigned to statistics, machine learning, and other computational modelling methods. It is an invitation to discover and invent data processing through practice of fermentation. To ferment data is to speculate and create ways to live together as people and others who care.
This project enquires and studies relations between culture and nature, asking:
* what are relationships between humans, nature and data?
* can we develop these relations based on the principle of symbiosis rather than extraction and exploitation?
* what can we learn from microbes and their role in making the world full of life?
* how can we incorporate microbes and microbial processes as kin guiding towards living in a more just world with data nurturing life for all?
With fermenting data we want to explore fermentation* and digitization* together. Working with microbes, vegetables, minerals, jars, sensors and other technologies, we experiment with these two processing techniques to play and discover how fermenting can infuse data and how data can become part of fermentation.
You might then ask, why do it? What is this fermenting data about?
Our answers: we want to ferment data because we are curious and because we don’t know what fermenting data could be! There are so many ways to ferment data that need to be discovered still. We want to include as many of them as there are us fermenting data!
You might then ask further, why is this important?
Our answers: In processes of digitisation, digitalization, digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence and big data, data are the main element. In fact these processes cannot exist without data, which are produced everyday by things and people. However, we (us and others) who are source of this data have little or limited access to data. It might be because we don’t know how to access it, or simply because we don’t know what data we produce. But we believe that as generating data is a common practice, processing data should also be common and accessible to all. This project is our way to reclaim data by producing, collecting, categorising and visualising data.
Anders Visti is a visual artist working with code. Founder and co-editor of the publishing house * [asterisk] from 2002-12. Founder and editor of the printed web publication ‡ DobbeltDagger and initiator of !=null, a public forum for artists, researchers, developers and hackers using contemporary technology for creative expression and aesthetic inquiry. andersvisti
* Fermentation is an ancient technique of preserving food that has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years. Fermentation refers to a metabolic process during which microorganism or enzyms change composition of complex organic compounds into simple ones such as sugar into alcohol C2H6O or carbo dioxide CO2.
* Bacterias and yeast are necessary for process of fermentation to occur and for production of enzimes that facilitate fermentation.
* Digitization is the process of conversion of analogue data into digital format.
* Data are formal representations of relations and things that exist in the world. Data are necessary for computers to carry out calculations.