WE ARE DATA

Internet based innovations and digital technologies have been presented as strong and effective tools for development and solutions to many current challenges. Their implementation however also raises lots of pressing questions on how to deal with the ramifications of these new technologies and concerns about security, privacy, accountability, bias, agency, transparency, and ethics.

With We Are Data Cairotronica and IMPAKT have started a dialogue that responds to these important opportunities, questions and challenges and explores them from international perspectives and in the specific Egyptian context. With we Are Data we started a critical reflection and analysis of these new technologies in our data-driven society through the perspective of the arts.

The project outlines the complexities of dealing with data and investigates major questions divided over a set of subthemes: Data collection, Access to Data, Re-using and archiving data, Language and Data and the Artistic use of Data.

Structure of the Project

We Are Data is organized as a collaboration between Cairotronica – Cairo Electronic and New Media Arts Festival in Egypt and IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] in Utrecht, the Netherlands. 

The program aims to build an interdisciplinary practice that integrates new technologies with art and design. The main component of We Are Data was a 7-month long fellowship programme that was executed in Cairo in 2020. The program comprised monthly workshops, meet-ups, mentorship and other activities. The projects developed by the fellows during this program will be exhibited during the third festival edition of Cairotronica.

FELLOWS

Mona Mankhlouf is a multidisciplinary designer. Her inspiration comes from the visual and aural cultures of cities, by questioning the relationship between people, time and sound with the influence of urban cities. Her research explores the value of sound perception by investigating two of its primary aspects; hearing and emotional response-in application to memory through a series of experiential installation that triggers the senses.
Ahmad Aiuby is a self-taught creative coder, glitch artist, photographer, poet, and cultural manager. Aiuby studied Arts & Culture at Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS) and Automotive Engineering.
Dust and Glitter is a display of the findings of one year of ongoing research. The artist investigated the concept of the chaos of marginalised things, i.e. dirt and its counterpart of nice things: glitter and their history and origin. In an attempt to study order in chaos in the processes of demolition and reconstruction, and this chaos’ impact on the society’s collective memory, the artist collected samples of dirt different heritage sites in Cairo and Alexandria. She also recorded surrounding sounds for the memory of the place to mix artificial and natural sounds in an attempt to present possibilities for drawing the shape of the site.
Ahmed Soliman is a contemporary artist who graduated from faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan university with a diploma in photography and drawing. He is currently preparing his masters dissertation. Soliman is interested in combining arts & science (particularly physics). He was able to develop his style and technique by using the magnetic field and iron fillings as a medium as well as being interested in engaging the recipient in his or her interactive work.
Sabah Elhadid holds a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Arts from German University in Cairo, where she currently works as a TA. El Hadid’s interest lies in information design, print and editorials. While she worked independently, she gathered a lot of raw data and kept questioning their validity and the room for errors in her information. The idea of errors evolved into viruses as they form of error in the human body and their impact on society. As the events of 2020 unfolded, Sabah found rich material to work with between official news and society’s reactions through memes.
Imane Ibrahim is a visual artist and academic researcher, who is interested in the outcomes of intersections of mathematics and visual arts. This interest has given birth to the Book of Puzzles series, which add a new attempt to research the features of the artist’s book medium and its textual and pictorial content. Through these interests, she also analyses the paths taken by the curricula used in teaching art and creates artworks that discuss teaching.

MENTORS

Artist
Sabrina is a designer, technologist and media artist passionate about immersive interactive environments. She is interested in the influence of modern technology on society and dedicated to creating engaging experiences that enable social interaction and change. She works as a Technologist for Tellart in Amsterdam, and she has been an active member of the creative coding community organising a meetup called Creative Coding Amsterdam since 2014. Sabrina earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the Delft University of Technology. She acquired her Master’s Degree in Media Technology at Leiden University, combining creativity and technology with scientific research.
Profession
Jeroen van Loon received a bachelor in Digital Media Design and a European Media Master of Arts from the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. His fascination revolves around the revealing, documenting, and visualising of digital culture. Earlier work focussed on its personal and societal impact while recent work focuses on the Internet itself: its architecture, physicality, and connectivity—speculating on how these will change in the future. Van Loon won the European Youth Award and was awarded the K. F. Hein Art Grant.
Artist
Coralie Vogelaar is an Amsterdam-based visual artist. Her work consists of systematic conducted studies revealing mechanisms on valuation within our visual culture. Her work explores the area where the computer and human meet, the communication between the two and what new ways of seeing or behaving this can result in. Vogelaar graduated in 2007 at the design department of the Sandberg Institute and currently teaches at Artez University.

PHOTO DOCUMENTATION

VIDEO DOCUMENTATION

Installation

Ahmed Aiuby

AI as a tool could be used to beat itself through using it to generate veil images (There is a failure probability) that may be used as a source of inspiration to design pieces of the veil that can bypass facial recognition surveillance cameras. The project uses a dataset of veil images and training them to create generative ones. Ahmed Aiuby’s project Could we use Artificial Intelligence to beat it? uses a dataset of veil images and training them to create generative ones.
Installation

Imane Ibrahim

What happened in the last year?! is a window into a work in progress, the product of a year of contemplation, planning, progress and retreat. The installation features different media such as recorded clips, sketches and diagrams. Whether the media was complete or not, the artist used them in a discussion about a fundamental interest in the relationship of abstract mathematics to visual art. The presented materials look at significant events in human history and put them into dialogue with perceptions and ideas about teaching and learning in art in Egypt.
Installation

Sabah ElHadid

Fantasy vs Reality is an archive and a study that preserves a time frame from the beginning of Covid19 pandemic that highlights the contrast between memes and news by investigating, unveiling the relations, patterns, and different angles of the contemporary behaviour, beliefs, traditions, culture daily life struggles and adaptations.
Installation

Ahmed Soleman

Society is philosophically affirming humans’ worthlessness by creating artificial barriers that shape human life. A force dissonance arises between individuals and social dynamics powers, creating a tension of deep-rooted beliefs. Some Individuals deviate by deciding to create their path and defying challenges, while others adapt and remain in the society’s sphere and repetitive patterns.Sirat is an attempt to build an environment that creates tension for the audience driving them to a predictable and traceable path.
Installation

Shadwa Ali

Dust and Glitter is a display of the findings of one year of ongoing research. The artist investigated the concept of the chaos of marginalised things, i.e. dirt and its counterpart of nice things: glitter and their history and origin. In an attempt to study order in chaos in the processes of demolition and reconstruction, and this chaos’ impact on the society’s collective memory, the artist collected samples of dirt different heritage sites in Cairo and Alexandria. She also recorded surrounding sounds for the memory of the place to mix artificial and natural sounds in an attempt to present possibilities for drawing the shape of the site.
Installation

Mona Makhlouf

This is an experiential, interactive sound installation that aims to look at the gap between sound expressions that are heard but not written in letterforms. This concept is called Onomatopoeia, which is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes. Adding the technology variable as a lens to look in the future of those sound expressions and if humans can manipulate the limitations and ability of machines to imitate the sound that is produced by humans in the first place. Taking the zaghruta or the lululation as a case study to emphasise the gap between analogue vs digital sounds.

PARTNERS AND SPONSORS