‘We Need Us’ is a living artwork, powered by people, and influenced by data. It is a live, online, animated artwork that explores both ‘life data’ and the life of data. The work concentrates on metadata – data about data – which it draws from the activities of citizen science project, Zooniverse, to create sounds and animation. Unlike traditional data-visualisation which helps us understand and make sense of information held in large data sets, ‘We Need Us’ investigates the unique properties of the data itself. It asks: if the data had lives of their own, how would they be revealed?
For this project I developed the sound-engine and designed the audio in collaboration with the artist. The audio is mostly based on processed field recordings. The engine uses a mixture of layers and one-shot samples which can be controlled from the visuals rendering code, which in turn is driven by a data stream.