A global project about #Infinity, #Data_visualization, #Social_networks, #Mathematics and #Art.
In March of 2017 we launched a unique global initiative with the goal of creating an infinite project and turning it into the largest art installation in the world. Centered around the most famous of the transcendental numbers, we set out by hand casting each individual number as a limited and infinite edition of sculptures following the sequence of pi. As each piece is created and purchased, collectors are bound together as part of a unique community with data visualization software and a web-based interactive global map.
Starting in March of last year with 3.1415 and continuing on, our first year made for an incredible start. Within this short time the project has reached above the 250th digit across 5 continents. In over 15 countries and 20 US states, the stage is set for it to become a unique and massive project.
Making the largest art installation in the world. A bold statement following a bold idea.
What is PI Project?
PI Project is a combination of several big ideas that incorporate many of the facets of our world today. At the center of this big idea is a web-based interactive map. We partnered with the data visualization platform, CARTO, located in Brooklyn, NY. Using their software we were able to design and create a visual system that allowed us to employ global positioning technology. Each individual number of the sculpture is geo-located to it’s owner’s position. What started last year as a few lines spreading across New York City has grown into a web crisscrossing the entire world.
If the data map is the brain in this analogy, the hand cast cement sculptures are the very heart. Each year the style, design and material of the sculptures will evolve. This is a big project with the idea of growth and the unknown built into it’s very core. Inspired by the explosion of algorithmic architecture and the use of functions to determine form and space, we chose to mark 2018 with a parametric design.
Each number for the 2018 sequence will be hand cast from white gypsum cement. Their step down composition is an artifact of the CNC process in which we create each master. By comparison, 2017, also in white cement, was a variation of textures and randomness in keeping with the original concept of the installation.
Where do we go from here?
Aside from being about sculptures and data visualization, the project is also about infinity and exploration. As the sculptures change each year, so does the mapping. Our partners on the tech side helped us to create a map that allows viewers to not only see the location of each individual number in the world, but also see which number and where it is along the sequence. This year our update included a color code to allow viewers to see which pieces were part of the 2017 edition and which are the 2018 edition. Also the collectors that chose to buy strings and sets of multiple digits are represented as number stacks.
The most exciting part about this project is the way it develops and unfolds each year. A few years ago the ability to create interactive data maps were more for university and corporate clients and out of reach for individual artists, requiring teams of programmers and designers to bring it all together. With the software platforms available today this technology has become democratized and available to anyone with an idea and willingness to realize it. Our imaginations run wild with the potential for partnerships and new technologies that will present themselves in the years and decades to come.
With International Pi Day coming up on March 14th we are spreading the word that we are on track and pushing forward. PI Project enters 2018 in it’s humble second year with recognition by the Information is Beautiful Awards, CARTO’s highlighted Map of the Month and several international publications. The sculptures are available through the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, our studio and the official PI Project website.
Thank you for reading this and we hope you will share. We look forward to seeing where this idea goes in the years to come. To follow and join the project, please go to www.piprojectmap.com . The project is also being documented on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr through the hashtags #piProjectMap #dataatadata and #piProject.