Exhibition | There be Dragons

Navigating the uncharted data territories of creative practice, opening 30 September to 2 October.

There be Dragons exhibition features five artists/artistic teams that have produced informative, provocative and engaging pieces in response to an open call to explore issues of data and creative practice as part of Creative Informatics’ Creative Horizon 4 project. 

Exhibition will be open in-person at the Inspace gallery from Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October, 10am to 5pm daily. Opening event will take place on 29th September from 6-8pm, tickets are free but must be booked in advance



Elke Finkenauer – “Doing Data”

Elke Finkenauer is a visual artist and former data analyst. She works across sculpture, drawing, text and digital mediums, examining incongruities within social and professional structures and the ways people navigate them. In 2022 she is a recipient of the Glasgow Visual Artist and Craft Maker Bursary, and an award from the Creative Scotland Open Fund for Individuals. Elke uses her background as a finance administrator and data analyst to inform her artistic engagement with questions about data and creative practice. She has grounded her work in the data-driven processes inherent in creative practice itself to produce a set of experimental sculptures. In parallel Elke has created a dataset of materials recording the process of creating the sculptures, engaging in data visualisation techniques to tell a further story with the data collected. The entire project is a reflexive examination on data in creative praxis.

Applied Arts Scotland – “Enough is Enough”

Many makers work with business models that are antithetical to neoliberal capitalist growth models. Instead, they seek an equilibrium point where enough is enough. At a point in time when over-consumption and perpetual growth models threaten our future, enough is enough. “Enough” is different for everyone, and varies by personal circumstances. It sits at the intersection of financial sustainability, quality of life, and quality of making experience; and is not currently captured by any single, measurable index.

We need to learn from “enough is enough” business models and the thinking that underpin them in order to promote sustainable futures, while also enabling creative risk-taking and innovation among solo practitioners. The team at Applied Arts Scotland worked with its membership base to explore the types and value of data collected about creative practitioners in the course of their professional work. Through acts of making and story-telling, Applied Art Scotland members Lorna Brown, Amy Dunnachie and Lynne Hocking consider ways to articulate, visualise and express the data that informs “enough is enough” business models and support critical engagement with questions about the value of data to creative practitioners.

Mel Frances in collaboration with sound artist Michael-Jon Mizra and Trainee Associate Artist – Vaishnavi Singh – “Cloud”

“Cloud” is an interactive story about the cloud. Through exploring data fragments – emails, calendar invites, voicemails, texts and reddit posts – audiences will be transported to 2032 and invited to investigate a new cloud that has appeared in the skies above us. Everyone understands this cloud differently – some believe it is a data centre, ‘the cloud’ made manifest, others think it is a weapon, a few believe that it is a lost deity that has returned to us.

As audiences read and listen they are invited to analyse the fragments and then capture the story they see within. There is no one narrative about what the cloud is, where it has come from or what it is for, instead the data fragments combine to create hundreds of different readings. Each person who experiences cloud will come away telling a slightly different story. 

“Cloud” creatively explores processes of data analysis, considering how we find narratives in and how we place narratives onto data sets, and, with a focus on the mundane, how the fragments of our day-to-day – emails, phone calls, scribbled notes – become the narratives of our lives and work.

Theodore Koterwas – “When do you give yourself away?”

Theodore Koterwas is an artist and musician working with data, perception, physical phenomena, and the body in order to examine aspects of daily experience that often go unnoticed but profoundly impact how people understand themselves, others and the environment.

Ted’s work explores a range of questions. As creators of experiences that can be personal, emotional and visceral where do we draw the line when working with data derived from those experiences? Do we have any right to this data as the ones who created the conditions for it? If “art” lies in an audience member’s experience as much as it does in the thing created by the artist, does the audience have an equal right to the art? If the work moves them, who deserves credit, and if it fails? What happens when the data is not just personal, but internal? Who gets to choose what’s done with it? Ted investigates these questions through an interactive data sculpture that collects bodily data from each visitor to generate a multi sensory experience unique to them. It then evaluates its success or failure based on their reaction.

More Fun With Games – “Privacy Wizard’s or Data Thieves?”

This project creates an adventurous experience as we encourage players to wonder in the area surrounding Inspace, provoking thoughts about data both personal and historical. Through an onboarding process in Eventbrite, acting as a test case for new AtmosphereOS technology, we will collect a range of data from individuals and based on that, assign them a character to play a game that riffs on personal privacy and data security. The character will impact the players experience of the game and story but choices they make along the way means their destiny is not set in stone. We will guide our players with physical and digital props and clues and at the end of their journey give them some insight into our design process and how we have used data, asking them to consider what they might have learned and enjoyed by taking part in the experience.

This project is produced by ABS from MFWG working in partnership withRay Interactive and New Media Scotland/Atmosphere OS; director, writer and game maker Cameron Hall and with cartography and illustration by Two Rats Press.

Koterwas, Somewhere in the Universe it Rains


Creative Informatics is a collaboration across the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Codebase and Creative Edinburgh.

Funded by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme managed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council as part of the Industrial Strategy, with additional support from the Scottish Funding Council. The programme is part of the City Region Deal Data Driven Innovation initiative.

Find out more at https://creativeinformatics.org/


If you would like to find out more about the Creative Informatics Horizon 4 project visit https://creativeinformatics.org/news/introducing-our-creative-horizon-4-exhibitors/