Sand Falls

An audience analytics project for CCCB

Can we quantify the impact that an artwork has over a wide audience?

During the seven months of Big Bang Data exhibition in Barcelona we developed an experiment to understand the flows and real impacts that five different artworks had inside the exhibition space of the CCCB.

Turning subjective art into quantitative insights.

The impact of art is a quite subjective topic to work with. There are lots of ongoing research projects on the field but still not real clues about the impact that an artwork can have towards an audience.

The challenge then was to understand in which other ways we could quantify the impact of these artworks. Summing the specific individual time that each visitant spent in front of the artworks was without doubt the most direct path to measure the attention of a global audience.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures.

As we were working for a wide international exhibition we had to explain all this stream of data in an universal way that could be understood for anyone from any age, gender and cultural background.

The sand clock was used, as one of the oldest mechanical instruments, to explain the abstract idea of time. We create five different clocks connected each of them with different audience tracking devices that in real time were streaming the information into grains of sand.

The most challenging part of this project was understanding that beyond all the data gathered we could actually transform the behaviours of the people inside the exhibition space and that is exactly what happened.

The installation was placed at the end of the exhibition so when most of the audience realised about the data showcased they turned back to see again the five artworks this time with this new layer of information.

Changing the way we see ourselves will change the way we see our world.

Understanding data visualisation not just as a communication artifact but as a tool for spuring change in human behaviour.

Sand Falls was exhibited at the Big Bang Data exhibition of Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona visualising and changing the behaviours inside the exhibition space of more than 60.000 people.

In 2015 Sand Falls was awarded with the major city award of Barcelona for crossing arts, technology, social science and design. It will be available for new projects from 2017.

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