Data analysis generates a work of art that helps understand science: StARTgate by Question Mark

A generative artwork born from the analysis of the environmental impact of the Salone del Mobile.Milano: this is StARTgate, the installation created by Question Mark, a Milan-based communications agency, during Milan Design Week.

The event held at Question Mark hub on June 9-10, 2022

A combination of artificial intelligence and satellite technology enabled the development of the StARTgate installation, starting with the analysis of data concerning the influx of visitors to the Salone del Mobile, their movement within the exhibition area and the amount of waste produced on June 6-7. The georeferenced information, extrapolated from images sent by Esa satellites, was then processed with algorithms; the numerical complexity was then represented by means of sequences of colors and geometric shapes. Data visualized in this way became the basis of a generative art installation, consisting of video projections and soundtracks curated by Paolo Polcari, keyboardist for Almamegretta.

Paolo Polcari, keyboardist for Almamegretta, gives sound to videos and pictures

An installation to understand data and implement sustainability

This work took shape on June 9 and 10, during Milano Design Week. During the event “StARTgate, pionieri dell’arte che viene dallo spazio” (“StARTgate, pioneers of art that comes from space”) at the Question Mark hub in the Tortona area, the installation revealed the potential of the analytical model on which it is based to assess the sustainability of events.

Another image of the installation

“Data analysis is now an integral part of any company’s life,” said Luca Pirone, general manager of Question Mark. “StARTgate represented our vision of the data-driven approach in an artistic way. The quality of information sources and the use of customized algorithms represent the future of this indispensable interpretative process.”

Another image of the installation

Collected information can help plan events more efficiently. “Depending on one’s needs, our technology can provide a number of indicators,” commented Valentina Piccioli, CEO of JustOnEarth. “It is possible, for example, to determine how many people visited the Salone del Mobile moving by public transport and how many by private transport; the volume of traffic generated by the event can be quantified and possible corrective measures can be devised for future editions.”

Lastly, Luca Pirone pointed out that “data analysis carried out with scientific rigor and sophisticated tools is indispensable for the development of best practices.” StARTgate has therefore proposed a new way of doing art. And a new dimension for marketing strategies.