No. 212


By : Salvatore Iaconesi

Entrant’s location : Italy



Obiettivo is a datapoietic artwork: it uses large quantities of digital data to create an augmented sensibility about complex planetary phenomena. Obiettivo deals with world poverty: it constantly collects data about people in the world living in conditions of extreme poverty and interprets them using light. Obiettivo's light flashes according to how many people are currently entering or leaving poverty. Obiettivo will unstoppably continue to emit light until the number of people in extreme poverty will go under a certain threshold: only then the light will turn off, allowing us to rest.

What did you create?

An illumination system for the public space which is connected to reliable data (UN, OECD, World Bank) about people in the world living in conditions of extreme poverty. The light will turn off only when the number of people in poverty will be sufficiently low. The lamp is intended as an alarm, keeping us awake until a planetary problem is resolved.

Why did you make it?

This work is a part of a larger projec called Datapoiesis, in which we explore the role of data to enable us to have an augmented sensibility to complex issues of our world, like climate change, migrations, energy, health and more. I created Obiettivo for Datapoiesis to study the phenomenon of extreme poverty in the world, and to try to bring knowledge, sensibility and empathy about this phenomenon to people, to trigger shared action.

How did you make it?

I have worked in close connection and collaboration with data scientists, material engineers, art curators, research centers, companies and associations within the Datapoiesis project (financed and supported by Compagnia San Paolo in Italy) to create the concept, find and analyse the data, build the artwork and prepare it for exhibit.

Your entry’s specification

The work is an installation which has two elements: - a main body of 110x50x50 cm - an electronics component block of 30x40x15 cm the two are attached by cables. It requires wifi network connectivity and electricity to function. it is best shown in a dark space.