Valeria Ricci

The Physicalisation of Data: Natural Archives of Artificial Knowledge

This thesis explores digital media as a means to transform data into an architectural space with physical attributes and qualities resulting from the data that is preserved within.

Placed within a speculative sociological context of a not-so-distant future, where mankind is forced to leave its home planet in an effort to retain a connection, a piece of human history is inscribed into the ground of the Earth. Perhaps rediscovered long after we are gone, the Earth becomes an archive, a museum, to be explored by future visitors.

The project explores the possibility of preserving this knowledge by translating data into a physical form through its conversion to image, sound and arrays of numbers. The device inscribing this converted information is made up of a series of operations, each of which acts as a cog in a larger mechanism.

The physical canvases of this project are the ice planes of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. These represent the ideal site because of the data-retaining ability of ice: the material, due to its inherent narrative properties, has been collecting and storing information about our planet since long before we started walking on it.