The 21-century is the century of data: We are identified by our data stream: the data we consume and the data we share. This results in a plethora of datasets that have one thing in common: they are numbers stored on servers, with a large potential for further analysis and usage. To exploit that potential, and turn the data into knowledge, we need to find new ways of interpreting and understanding them. One way to interpret data is sonification: using non-speech audio to represent data. In this seminar I will argue why sonification can be an excellent tool for datadriven storytelling and how it can be used to create awareness, foster public engagement, and in the long run, instigate policy change.
Samuel Van Ransbeeck is a research associate in Brazilian Studies at the University of Manchester. His background is in electronic music and interactive arts. He did his PhD at the Catholic University of Porto, Portugal, where he developed DataScapR, a sonification toolbox for composers and sound artists to make music using stock market data. After finishing his PhD, he has used this system to create sonifications in Milton Keynes to sonify energy usage, and Rio de Janeiro for the Outros Registros project. His research interests lie mainly in sonification, algorithmic composition, socially engaged art, interactive art, and Brazilian art.