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Summary
While the advertising industry heralds the use of digital communication technologies as a form of individual empowerment and self-efficacy, people’s interactions with their devices are proving to also have significant negative effects on society. The poem is situated in the near future, when the collection of personal information will be achieved by individual activities online, by the contributions carried out by other people, and through sensors that are part of the Internet of Things. The personal data, aggregated, will be processed at very high speeds with the assistance of artificial intelligence. As it happens in this generative video poem, unique pieces of audiovisual media will be created on-the-fly to achieve persuasive objectives based on individual profiles. The combination between the massive collection of personal data and its subsequent statistical processing, aimed at achieving persuasive objectives, will push us towards a terrible reality. Ultimately, the logic of statistics will be used to define human existence individually and socially in a deterministic way and, unfortunately, it will be guided mostly by commercial interests. 

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Competitive Festivals
Newlyn PZ International Film Festival 2020, Penzanse, United Kingdom (March 2020) / ARTS and Sustainable Development Goals Online Festival, Brooklyn, USA (April 2020) / Cadence Video Poetry Festival, Seattle, USA (April 2020) / Hello World, Transcultural Exchange, Boston, USA (June 2020) / Athens Digital Arts Festival, Athens, Greece (July-Sep, 2020) / 4° Festival ECRÃ of Audiovisual Experimentations, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Aug, 2020) / The Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives, Berlin, Germany (Sep-Oct, 2020) / International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia, Bauhaus University Weimar and the Literary Society Thuringia, Weimar, Germany (Oct, 2020) / The 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium, Pasadena, USA (Oct-Dec 2020) / Festival de Cortometraje Universitario, Universidad Vasco de Quiroga, Morelia, México (Nov, 2020) / Festival Fotogenia, Posgrado de Arte y Diseño, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Nov, 2020) / Festival Internacional de Videopoesía Videobardo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (TBD, 2021), 9th International Video Poetry Festival, Athens, Greece (March, 2021), Experiments in Cinema 16, Albuquerque, USA (May, 2021)/ Formula Mundi, Hochschuke Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Fulda Germany (June, 2021)

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Museums
CSUS Arts and Letters Faculty Exhibition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, USA (Oct-Nov 2019) / Web Biennal Apeiron, Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (May 2020) / The FL3TCH3ER Exhibit, Socially and Politically Engaged Art, Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee, USA (Oct-Dec 2020)

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Publication and Presentations

Academic Journal: FLAT Journal, UCLA Department of Design Media Arts and Carnegie Mellon University School of Art (2020) Presentations: Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires sur les Mondes Ibériques Contemporains, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France (2019) / Feria Internacional del Libro del Estado de México, Toluca, México (2019) / Platforming Utopias (and Platformed Dystopias), Electronic Literature Organization, Online (May 2021) / Association for Computers and the Humanities Conference, Online (July, 2021)

Big Data is a term used to describe, in general, the gathering of vast amounts of digital information and its subsequent processing, through sophisticated computational techniques, with the purpose of obtaining knowledge.

 

In the case of Big Data, the poem, the term refers to the massive collection of personal information communicated online and its processing for commercial purposes, especially for-profit endeavors related to a persuasion achieved through the detailed knowledge of individuals, a persuasion aimed to be invisible.

Video presentation for the ARTS and Sustainable Development Goals Online Festival, Brooklyn, USA (April 2020) - English

The poem is not situated in the present but in the near future, when the collection of personal information will be achieved by individual activities online, by the contributions carried out by other people and by sensors that are part of the Internet of things. The personal data, aggregated, will be processed at very high speeds with the assistance of artificial intelligence. The combination between the massive collection of personal data and its subsequent statistical processing, with that emphasis on inferential statistics to achieve persuasive objectives, will lead to a terrible reality. In general, the logic of statistics will be used to define human existence individually and socially in a deterministic way. Big Data's resulting knowledge, the poem suggests, is equivalent to the omniscience generally attributed to deities.

The poem is not a linear poem, it is a poem that regenerates itself differently each time a program is run. The sequencing of the lines of the poem has been carefully developed to always achieve, in each regeneration, appropriate grammatical and semantic structures (in Spanish). The random processes that make the poem always different are bounded and conditioned by pre-established “paths” imposed through programming. This automated construction of the poem suggests that the regeneration of messages in real-time, with persuasive intent, based on personal profiles, is feasible in the near future.

The presentation of each new sequencing of the poem is carried out by 30 Mexicans living in Mexico City. People's faces and the way they read the poem (their voices and gestures) are intended to expand the perception of a database composed of human profiles. At the same time, these people are the ones who persuade their peers. The presentation of the poem through an audiovisual medium creates a continuity that hides the automatic editing of the piece through regenerative processes.

The countless possible sequencings of the poem Big Data can be thought of like a fractal, that is, different and similar visual elements constrained by a series of mathematical rules. 

Video presentation for the 13ª edición Festival de Cortometraje Universitario UVAQ (Universidad Vazco de Quiroga) Michoacán, México (Nov, 2020) - Spanish

Each poem sequencing has different fragments of an actual fractal that can be understood as the human behavior inside the database. The fractal created for the poem Big Data shows landscapes with millions of information points. Those landscapes contain geometric figures, cubes made of smaller cubes that are made of even smaller cubes, simulating a three-dimensional database. These structures, as a whole, expand and contract rhythmically, seeming to breathe. The landscapes also have columns where there seems to be large amounts of information in motion. The visualizations provided by the fractal are very beautiful and are somewhat frightening when they are shown in the context of the poem. The database represented is immense, deep, detailed and in perpetual motion.

The sound design integrates all the parts making them a unitary piece. The amalgamation of the audiovisuals of each regenerated poem acquires an emotional nuance too. The electroacoustic composition establishes tones, accents and sound patterns which also talk about the Big Data concept, the role of computers in our auditory environment and its way of operating based on electricity. The electroacoustic design is also uniquely constructed for each regeneration and provides similar nuances to each poem.
 

Diego Bonilla

Concept, poem, programming

Rodolfo Mata

Concept, poem, sequencing

Miguel Ortiz Ulloa

Cinephotography

Carole Chargueron

Electroacustic composition

BIG DATA

Diego Bonilla - Rodolfo Mata

(Transl. Madeleine Stratford)

We do not know you, but we know you quite well

we have come to know you through the millions of people

who, like you,

have left their digital footprints here in the database. 

Based on our statistical data, we can tell you that you follow the standard pattern

that your scores come quite close to the global average

We know that

in fact

you are not alone or outside the bell curve

We can confirm

that you are only one among many

that our relationship

is of the utmost importance

As one decision connects to the next

consider that our precise inferential method

can predict the future of your luminescent trail

By computing billions of digital dots

spread out like stars across your own personal sky

we can chart your psyche

your mathematical profile

We sincerely thank you for your constant contribution

granting us a detailed account of your surroundings

your friends

your family

everywhere you have been

among us in the virtual realm

Your digital participation

provided daily and blindly

will give us cause to dominate your angry fits

and calm your fears

and make you blend in with the others

when you join our community

our consciousness

It is clear to us

that you may be disturbed by your digital reflection

let it go

do not strive to stand out 

in our sea of data – you will only succeed in switching categories

let it go

do not sell a false image of yourself

You alone do not matter

Every single one of you

feeds us

Let us pray for you

our infallible formulae will process your generic self

modeling our fantastic cocreation in real time

as we walk you over to a fuller existence

Let us pray for you

do not think that your will alone is strong enough

to wipe your profile from our registries

No one knows you better

that is why we are here

browsing with you, leading you wherever you like

Every time you need to tailor your choices to secure your future

a bright future of your own

we will draw the exact features of your face

a backlit design

customized VIP

Believe in us

join us willingly

connect with our omniscience

The others let us know your every move

and the odds of making a mistake as we create you

are very low. 

And if you still resist us

if you would rather join millions of delusional fools in anonymous

neutral

agnostic

indeterminacy

may you be warned:

you have nothing to do with this

others are making you into someone

we are

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Participants

Eduardo Urueta, Iván Méndez González, Andrés Cisneros de la Cruz, Gerardo Montiel
Klint, Pedro Mata Crespo, Ana Franco Ortuño, Marcela Arévalo Contreras, Frida
Librado, Regina Crespo, Yunuen Díaz, Cristina Arévalo Contreras, Guillermo Arreola,
David Rojas Azules, Carlos Saldaña Ramírez, Mariana Contreras, Christian Díaz,
Susana Carreras, Rocío Cerón, Honorato Magaloni, César Cortés Vega, Yamil Narchi
Sadek, Elisa Díaz Castelo, Ana Cervantes, Nina Maroto (bebé), Julia Santibáñez,
Mariana Castro, Carole Chargueron, Mohsen Emadi, Rodolfo Mata, Mayra Rojo.

Sequencing Diagram

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