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how Big Data is changing art

The amount of data that humans generate is astounding: 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, and 90 percent of it was created in the last two years. This unprecedented growth will only continue as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to give previously analog objects a data-driven life of their own.

How can we transform all of this data using an artistic lens, to incite new insights and perspectives? Below I’ve highlighted experimental projects that push the boundaries of data visualization.

Art made of storms

Artist Nathalie Miebach takes weather data from massive storms and turns it into complex sculptures that embody the forces of nature and time. These sculptures then become musical scores for a string quartet to play.

View the TED talk here.

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The beauty of data visualization

David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design is the best way to navigate information overload — and change how we see the world.

View the TED talk here.

Visualizing ourselves with crowdsourced data

Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the "Wilderness Downtown" video that customizes for the user, his works explore how tech can make us more human.

View the TED talk here.

Art that looks back at you

Golan Levin, an artist and engineer, uses modern tools — robotics, new software, cognitive research — to make artworks that surprise and delight. Watch as sounds become shapes, bodies create paintings, and a curious eye looks back at the curious viewer.

View the TED talk here.

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How to build an information time machine

Imagine if you could surf Facebook … from the Middle Ages. Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project digitizing 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1,000 years.

View the TED talk here.