the Apotheosis of Data

My thoughts behind this piece aren't yet fully crystalised but I wanted to put the image up for viewing now, as it is just so pertinent to the current situation in the news re – the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica fiasco. For anyone interested – I will be putting more up soon.

Crypto - secret or hidden; not publicly admitted.
-cracy - word-forming element forming nouns meaning "rule or government by," (aristocracy; democracy; bureaucracy; mobocracy.)

I couldn't possibly have known how timely this piece would come to fruition – indeed I didn't even have the title finalised until a month before the data scandal of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook was made public!

However, going back six months, I began to build this structure as a new modelling project with no other purpose but to experiment and improve my “texturing” techniques. It soon became a structure that kept growing upwards and needed propping up in order to survive the burgeoning weight on the foot at the base.

Then, as usually happens, I began to see something in this structure that was mirroring our very evolution. Over many millennia, through the refinement of not only the physical material that constructs our environment, there has obviously been the parallel refinement of our knowledge through invention and inquisitiveness, traits that man (sic – all genders) has in abundance, but also competition, conflict and at its worst level, wars – that have also created the many power systems that control the world.

Now, over time it is easy to see how it is the mental powers of our species - behind the scenes - that has led to a continuous jockeying of position for superiority. But of course all power is transitory (and illusory) and ultimately defeated, succumbing to the next level of knowledge and development, for in that nano-moment in the full scale of time when power is taken, it simultaneously becomes impossible to maintain and control it due to the inevitability of evolution and thus begins the decline.

So in the same way that the general physicality of any species evolves -specialising in niche survival - this is just the inevitable evolution of invisible knowledge.

I did almost title this piece “Scientia potentia est” - knowledge is power.

Okay – what's in the image? Well, I want to eventually explain it in more detail but for now I'm just going to point out that as the structure builds skywards from the cave painting, I've included some examples (there are obviously infinite examples I could put in) of human ingenuity, knowledge and physicality that has been employed throughout history in protecting various established power bases. And right at the top, the compression of most, or all valuable information as we know it....into digital binary data. I certainly don't have any knowledge of how this type of information is stored, transmitted or utilised but it seems to me that with the arrival of cryptocurrencies it is pretty obvious that the world is dealing with something very powerful.

I actually see this image now as the fusion of two of my other recent pieces - should you want to see what my thoughts are on those “The Question of Being: Origin of the Specious” from 2015 and “Helot Califa neo” from 2016.

Just had a thought – should “Data” be treated as the crack cocaine of information? When some powerful people, companies or even governments become users - then abusers – are they able to stop without external intervention? And another thought - this data could lie unused for decades, centuries or even millennia and then be mined and exploited by these organisations as we do now with coal, oil or gas! An incredible resource of “raw data” - and like atomic energy it can be used for the good of mankind...or could be used to build a bomb!

April 10. 2018

Should you be interested I've added some extra information on this image here

............."Cryptocracy: the Apotheosis of Data" - some of the detail.