Sergio Mora-Diaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and performance through the use of interactive media, projections and light, exploring the relationship between physical spaces, digital technologies and human perception.

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Data Engineer: Claudio Galaz

Data Scientist: Andrés Medina

Diseñadora UX/UI: Daniela Collarte

Sergio Mora-Diaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and performance through the use of interactive media, projections and light, exploring the relationship between physical spaces, digital technologies and human perception.

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COSMOSStgo, 2020Sergio Mora-DíazDigital data visualization

Using the data generated by more than 5,000 mining trucks, Sergio Mora-Díaz defined the aspects of speed, load and motive power as key dimensions to visualize the data as metallic particles that disperse and converge. Thanks to this work, COSMOS can be seen like never before.

“This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one.”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work for COSMOS.

“This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work: COSMOS.

Francisca Olivares: Tell me about the process of turning COSMOS data into art.

Sergio Mora-Díaz: In the case of COSMOS, the data given to me correspond to data on trucks that carry certain loads through the territory. Within this, different dimensions that have to do with the efficiency of this truck are analyzed: speed, how much load it carries, etc. What COSMOS does is process this data to make trips and fuel use more efficient.

In this case, I took all these data and prepared this work based on three aspects: the speed of the trucks, the load they carry, and finally their driving force. With these three elements I was able to visualize the trajectory of each of these trucks moving through space. So, I created this composition by translating that information from 5,000 trucks into visual qualities like size, color, and speed of different of the elements.

FO: The trajectories of these particles in space caught my attention, how do you go about choosing those trajectories?

SMD: In this case, the real trajectory of those trucks was not given to me, that is, the path that the elements are taking are determined by me based on other geometric factors. Certain parameters of spatial coordinates are defined and each of these particles is made to follow a path that converges. This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one. With this he sought to generate a sensation of something liquid, alluding to fuel or any organic thing that moves through geography.

FO: Were there any decisions that were particularly difficult in this process of translating the data into visual artistic language?

SMD: I think that the relationship that I managed to establish was quite direct from the beginning, since the numbers allowed me to establish certain parameters that could be easily visualized in graphic codes. The most difficult thing was selecting which were the key dimensions to visualize and how to do it in the end. These decisions had to represent the objective of COSMOS, but must also include a more abstract and metaphorical element. In any case, there was always a joint effort, in constant dialogue with UNIT analysts to clearly define the criteria to be followed.

FO: Do you feel that this work was more of a creation or a translation?

SMD: I think it has a bit of both, because there are some elements that translate directly into the visual, such as speed or amount of charge. However, there were other decisions that I had to make on my own, such as creating all the trajectories that the elements follow. The fact of achieving this confluence of elements, the color … all those decisions that are more plastic and aesthetic. In fact, I would dare to say that it is in this mixture where the grace of these works lies, the power to establish a parallel between the hard data and the aesthetic vision and authorship of the artist.

FO: The material decision of the particles is one of the interesting elements. There is a metallic decision in the work, what is your intention behind this materiality?

SMD: Although there are many decisions that I made from the aesthetic side, it does not mean that it came to me out of nowhere. Rather, they are things that arise from the conversations that we have had with the work team and how I am understanding the subject, the solutions offered by UNIT products and what they refer to in my memory.

In this case, the metallic component of the elements and the grayscale for me has a lot to do with metal as an element within the industry: minerals, earth, highways, the steel with which the trucks themselves are built, all of this is associated with the same element. Within that, I was exploring different ways of visualizing it and I came up with the solution of using this metallic gray scale pointing towards a mineral and stone effect, which I think was the best option to convey the main idea.

FO: During the translation and creation process, did you manage to learn anything new about COSMOS?

SMD: Yes, I think the interesting thing about analyzing these variables and creating these works makes sense when they are compared to each other. For example, we have a truck that has a certain trajectory, with a certain speed, carrying an amount of cargo X, and it moves through space. I think that data in itself has a value. What was added here was the opportunity to visualize all the information together, which allows finding certain patterns and understanding the data in a more comprehensive way to take opportunities that may not be detected by analyzing a single truck. For me, there is the great value of these works, allowing processes to be made more efficient from a more global view of the data.

Public announcement to any artist that wants to collaborate in works with data science and advanced mathematics.

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