Data Loam

Anna Nazo [artist]. Devia, 2019 performance as part of ArtFutura 2019, Iklectik Art Lab, London, 1 Dec 2019. Image credit Pau Ros. Still in Data Loam (2020).

Data Loam is a collaboration between School of Arts & Humanities, RCA (Professor Johnny Golding) and Angewandte, University of the Applied Arts Vienna ‘a place for free artistic and academic expression and as a laboratory for artistic visions, which unfold their potentials in the society of the future’ (Professor Virgil Widrich and Martin Reinhart, artist/computing engineer).

Data Loam is a multi-faceted arts-led approach which draws together artists, archivists, philosophers, writers, cyberneticists, physicists, composers and software engineers in order to address one of the most intractable problems facing our environment today: the massive proliferation of data and, with it, the accelerated impact of AI / human-machine coevolution. Rejecting Cold War apocalyptic narratives pitting ‘man’ against ‘machine’ and rejecting also entrenched paradigms of indexicality, Data Loam refocussed on the centrality of flow, diffraction, logics of sense, entanglement, undecidability. It took as its points of departure three significant axes:

  • the archive (what to archive and where – from the physical to the ephemeral);
  • the accessible (how to widen and diversify participation at the point of knowledge exchange);
  • the experimental (ensuring that the systems will intrinsically remain ‘open’ in the face of ever-increasing data and attempts at homogenisation

In so doing Data Loam has initiated a new chapter for the future of knowledge systems, and with it, new pedagogical and epistemological approaches to the arts and humanities. Seminal positions around ethics and the kind of society we may also wish to build, based on collective empathy, distributed intelligence and the courage to matter emerged during this exciting two-year international research project.


  • PEEK: Programme for Arts-Based Research [FWF Der Wissenschaftsfonds]– Austria. Research funding for artist led-research in the arts and sciences. Major funding grant