‘This Is Where We Are’ (TIWWA) was an immersive and interactive algorithmic sculpture fuelled by the data we collectively generate. This collaborative work was created for the opening of the new Tate Modern Switch house in London in June 2016 by the i-DAT Research and Design Collective, Tate Collective London and Intercity. This technological fusion of interactive light and sound asked audiences to consider the data they generate and the algorithmic systems that increasingly mediate their reality and influence their behaviour.
The creation of the sculptural artefacts and the digital systems driving them, were forged through interplay between data, algorithms and people. The activity of the human crowd was mirrored just below the opaque surface in the behaviour of TIWWA’s swarms. The flocking entities became conduits for collective social emotions, expressing anger, joy and fear in their playful interactions with visitors. With one swarm mirroring another, it gradually became apparent that the algorithmic entities swimming just below the surface were doing more than reflecting our mood. They were affecting it, slowly becoming entangled with the way we feel, increasingly tangible and solid, a presence in the room. Something hiding in the illuminated shadows, imagining our near future for us.