Why Do It
Why Do It?
- The ways that data can be used (and misused) have made global headlines; as data is currently a hot issue, combining art and data can quickly gain lots of attention.
- As well as showing artists useful ways to work with data, the Data Toolkit can equip them to tackle issues of data ethics in their work.
- Arts organisations can help young people to voice, engage and change issues that affect them.
- Young people can bring a fresh perspective, and they are often capable of learning new skills very quickly, making them ideal participants for the projects in this toolkit.
- You may have some data to communicate that others may not know or care about. You could create something to make more people interested and potentially encourage them to engage.
We created the data toolkit at the Knowle West Media Centre after spending six months working with a team of young people to create data-driven art. We wanted the lessons we learned to be available for arts organisations to work more closely with data and young people in the future. The Data Toolkit provides arts organisations with all of the necessary information to allow them to incorporate data techniques into their existing artistic practice.
Arts organisations already have to deal with data on a regular basis – whether they’re non-profits having to report to external funders, or creative businesses tracking customer behaviours. We think data has the potential to be used for much more interesting things than back-office administrative tasks, and we believe forward-thinking artistic professionals will be able to discover these uses. The Toolkit allows them to get started with data projects quickly, so they can spend less time learning and more time creating.
Data isn’t just relevant to arts organisations though; since the start of the 21st Century the idea of ‘Big Data’ has gathered momentum, the ways that data can be used (and misused) have made global headlines, and some of the world’s biggest companies have built their business models around data collection. Alongside showing artists useful ways to work with data, the Data Toolkit can equip them to tackle issues of ethics in their work.
Involving young people in the arts is a central focus for Arts Council England. Arts organisations can help young people to voice, engage and change issues that affect them. Aside from the social benefit of working alongside young people, arts organisations will also see more tangible gains. Young people can bring a fresh perspective, and they are often capable of learning new skills with less difficulty than their older counterparts (especially around technology), making them ideal participants for the projects in this toolkit.