Art Lab | ISS

Sergio Mora-Díaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and live performances 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

UX/UI Designer: Daniela Collarte

Sergio Mora-Diaz es un artista y arquitecto de nuevos medios de Santiago, Chile. Su trabajo se centra en el desarrollo de experiencias inmersivas, instalaciones y actuaciones en vivo mediante el uso de medios interactivos, proyecciones y luz, explorando la relación entre los espacios físicos, las tecnologías digitales y la percepción humana.

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ISS
Stgo, 2020
Sergio Mora-Díaz
Data displayed digitally

“Minerals also have cycles, because everything in nature works under that logic.” This is Sergio Mora-Díaz’s proposal in his work developed with data from our Digital Factory ISS. The work collects mineral composition data analyzed during different periods of time, to create a figure that is mutating, renewing its parts from within, just as a plant or even ourselves do permanently. Was nature kept that condition only for the living? Or is it that minerals are also secretly guided by that principle?

"The numbers that the UNIT Data Science team gave me, from real measurements, I translate into graphic information."

Interview with Sergio Mora-Díaz
about the work for ISS.

"The mineral is not alive, but it is also mutating. It is affected by the weather, the wind, the internal composition of the Earth causes it to change."

Interview with Sergio Mora-Díaz
about the work for ISS.

Francisca Olivares: Let’s talk about the work you developed based on the ISS data. The first thing I want to ask you is how was the process of turning universal intelligence data, from the world of mining, into a work of art?

Sergio Mora-Díaz: First, thank you very much for the invitation. For me it is a pleasure to be working on this cross between art and science. Well, in this ISS-based work, as in all the others that I have developed in this collaboration with UNIT, I take process data and translate it into graphic compositions. This gives us an account of the ways in which these processes work, and in this way, people can become a little more aware and understand the world around us in a different way. In this particular case, we worked with mining, with a series of qualities inherent to the composition of the minerals that reach a plant. They gave me a series of indicators, corresponding for example to the hardness of the mineral, the level of clay, the solubility, among others. These elements are used as tools when composing graphically.

FO: This work in particular makes me think about the concept of “cycle”. It is a work that, because of how the particles move from the inside out, seems to be mutating, but with the same permanent energy. Was that your intention?

SMD: Sure, being created from indicators of the mineral composition, that is generated. These indicators, having a number, qualify the mineral at a certain moment. From that, I discovered that the information was indeed cyclical. Each measurement generates a new set of compositional qualities. Then, with those elements, which are numerical patterns, I am generating the images. I wanted with this work precisely to account for the changes, and with that, to refer to cycles of nature. What I imagined here is how the Earth itself is changing and how its materials are mutating over time, it is transforming.

FO: In general the cycles are easy to visualize in the plant world. Given our time scale, one can observe how a plant is born, grows, withers and returns to earth. Here you approached the cycle from the mineral … tell me about that.

SMD: Indeed. You mention the issue of scale. We are used to detecting faster cycles. We can see the change of the plants you mention. However, the Earth, in its geological composition, works with cycles that are much slower, therefore we cannot perceive them in the same way or in the same magnitude. The challenge was how to translate that and I think it worked quite well. In this composition that I make, I propose a form that could refer to something alive that is mutating, but from a mineral bond. What interested me here was to reflect on certain scales and proportions of change of the Earth in a language, time and rhythm understandable by our perception

FO: In this sense, the work allows us to think about the cycles of nature in materials that are not alive ..

SMD: Sure, the mineral is not alive, but it is mutating as well. It is affected by the weather, the wind, the internal composition of the Earth causes the mineral to change. These processes invite you to think of the mineral as if it had a certain life.

FO: I would like to talk about the motion decision that you decided to use for these particles. I have seen some videos of moving plants and one can see that not all plants move the same. Not all flowers bloom the same, some do it once, others slowly. How did you develop this particular movement?

SMD: Here is the mathematical logic. Those numbers that the UNIT Data Science team gave me, from real measurements, I translate them into graphic information. This figure for example, which can be understood as consolidated, is made up of several rings. Each of these rings corresponds to one of the mineral composition dimensions and then these particles in each ring take different sizes and positions according to the numerical values. With that, the overall morphology of the image keeps changing, based on how the measurements change separately. The logic of the particle seems pertinent to me, to imply the complexity that exists in the measurement of elements separately, but which make up a totality, a unitary figure.

FO: One might think that the changes are turning the figure into another. But it remains the same.

SMD: Exactly, that was something I was looking for. That the qualities were defined in such a way that the figure could be understood as the same, as a unit that follows its own logic. It has the qualities of a unitary element, following its pattern. In each cycle it changes and transforms, with a new morphology. All these cycles are part of the same family, always in the same essence.

FO: Finally, this work helps us to reflect on the permanent and the impermanent …

SMD: It’s true, there are qualities in the work that change, but everything is always governed by the same pattern.

Open call to artists interested in collaborations with data science and advanced mathematics.

If you want to know more about UNIT or Universal Intelligence, let's talk.

Write to us at info@weareunit.ai

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Art Lab | COSMOS

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.

Know More

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.

Learn More

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COSMOS
Stgo, 2020
Sergio Mora-Díaz
Digital 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.

If you want to learn more about UNIT or the Universal Intelligence, let's talk.

Find us at info@weareunit.ai

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