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.

About the artist

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VOYAGERStgo, 2020Sergio Mora-DíazData visualizada digitalmente

In this work, the artist Sergio Mora-Díaz explores the data generated by more than 600 patients for 2 years to monitor the evolution of their blood based on the INR indicator. From data analysis, the artist developed spheres that activate and deactivate their light, sending cells or – even – living particles.

“It is as if we were looking at cells, similar to the aesthetic experience that one has through a microscope”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work in VOYAGER

“It is as if we were looking at cells, similar to the aesthetic experience that one has through a microscope”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work in VOYAGER

Francisca Olivares: Let’s talk about the work you generated from Voyager data, UNIT’s solution that produces early alerts in patients to control diseases. How was the process of working with this patient data and transforming it into a work?

Sergio Mora-Díaz: In this case, data from 600 patients and their progress during this year was analyzed to see how their status changed with respect to their disease. During 6 months the process and evolution of each patient was monitored based on the INR indicator, which is a component of blood. There were other complementary data such as geographic data, the place where the sample was taken, for example. However, we decided to use this indicator (INR) to visualize how it changes over time.

FO: This work is linked to blood so …

SMD: Yes, the INR indicator leads us to blood. However, the work is also very involved with biology and its relationship with health. The aesthetic decisions that were made sought to capture images that arise from biology, about the human body. Along these lines, this work is designed in such a way that the different spheres increase in size and color depending on how the INR evolves from month to month for each patient.

It is as if we are looking at cells, similar to the aesthetic experience one has through a microscope.

FO: One of the decisions that most caught my attention in this work was the theme of light. It is seen in the work that each sphere has an interior light that turns on or off. Tell me about the light resource in this work.

SMD: Exactly, it has a lot to do with what you say. In my works, I work a lot with light. It is an element that I am always interested in rescuing and valuing, mainly because it can refer to various ideas and concepts. Before, I mentioned the biological aspect, but somehow I wanted to give more ideas. In this case, this indicator that evolves from month to month has some ranges or thresholds that are considered normal and that after that range may indicate some kind of problem. Light is a visual tool that allows us to communicate a state of alertness, that is, as time goes by, the light varies according to how this indicator changes from month to month in patients. Every time this threshold is crossed, the light turns on to signal an alert and that creates a tension for the patient to be careful.

FO: From the viewer, in addition, light is perceived as a sign that something is alive, like when neurons synapse and energy is released.

SMD: Sure! It also has to do with this internal flame, the life that exists in each person.

FO: Another thing that caught my attention is the trajectory of the observer’s point of view. The viewer is not still, he is rotating. Tell me about this, was it a conscious decision?

SMD: He was totally aware. Unlike the video of Cosmos, where each element has a certain trajectory in space, in this case, it seeks to translate the information of the patients into a kind of universe, into something that can be observed from different points of view. It is the idea of ​​replicating a microbiological universe through a microscope and then adding the possibility to go through it or visualize it from different perspectives. In the end, the idea is to provoke the sensation that the viewer is the one who is moving, therefore, it feels like there is a large set of central objects where the viewer’s role is to move through them.

FO: I love that work is never literal. There are certain meanings and things that are inherited from the original UNIT product, but you always take it to an abstraction.

SMD: This has to do with a balance that is also sought between science and art. You have to give it an element that suggests certain ideas, that awakens the imagination and that allows us to visualize the world in a different way.

FO: What could you learn about VOYAGER working with his data in this translation / creation that is done with this work?

SMD: I think there are many interesting things that can be achieved in art working with scientific data and especially – in this case – working with medical data. Being able to analyze information that comes from different patients begins to reveal very suggestive ideas regarding human behavior, about how we take care of ourselves, how we feed ourselves, how it impacts our blood, is an important element to analyze. This sparked an interest in researching more about the patterns that guide life. Therefore, doing a play on this leads us to question how we learn about ourselves, about our health and our behavior.

FO: What you tell me makes me think about our natural intelligence, which is also capable of generating alerts, like when a child gets a fever. That intelligence evolves with VOYAGER, reinforcing those natural alerts.

SMD: Totally, in fact the genius of VOYAGER is that it uses data that we already have and manages to process it (with data science) to enhance these alerts. It is important to have this other way of seeing and understanding the information we have about ourselves.

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

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