DATAmap: Exploring Gender Balance in Ireland Through Interactive Multimedia Installation


Session Title:

  • The Uses of Digital Database

Presentation Title:

  • DATAmap: Exploring Gender Balance in Ireland Through Interactive Multimedia Installation




  • Contemporary culture produces volumes of data such as research results and often this information remains inaccessible to the public or is presented in a manner that is difficult to digest or unengaging. The traditional presentation style, for example, of presenting data as numbers and statistics is often inadequate in its ability to engage the public. In attempting to engage the public with information, the challenge is to make it appealing, impactful and memorable by making it personally relevant and meaningful.

    Art and technology offers new and alternative possibilities for presentation and audience engagement. Artist researchers are addressing the use of computers to advance the presentation and organisation of large volumes of complex information by creating visualisation methods that incorporate experimental two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based, meaningful and metaphoric visualisation. They are also looking at ways to extend the physical interface by looking at ways to read human actions and ways to exploit the ways in which people understand the world through their body. The artist working with multimedia and technology can exploit these possibilities to present a complex view of many layers of information in an accessible and meaningful way.

    DATAmap is an immersive interactive multimedia installation that presents factual information on the levels of representation in Irish State bodies, with a focus on gender balance. It is the novel result of an exploration by the artist into how the interactive installation could be a physical platform for the presentation of the complex set of local, regional and national data on the gender composition of State bodies around Ireland. This research and resulting artwork represents a step forward in the creation of art for social change by presenting an interdisciplinary and novel mixed-method approach that informs the creation of artwork to raise awareness of gender balance in Ireland. It sets out to explore the possibilities for applying art and technology to the creation of art that addresses social issues. In doing so, it explores the possibilities of an interdisciplinary approach to inform and develop an artistic practice that embraces other disciplines in order to expand the palette of artistic approaches and tools.

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