Data as Culture - Art that uses data as a material
On 25th July 2010, WikiLeaks released the Afghan War Diary, exposing over 91,000 (15,000 withheld) reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. Written by soldiers and officers, the data includes intelligence information, descriptions of military actions, meetings and other information. The entries were analysed by software looking for repeated patterns of events, spatial information, kinds of actors, timings and other factors. While some of the data was interpreted and published by newspapers, the full data set – containing endless permutation of jargon, acronyms and cross-references - remains mostly inaccessible. Endless War is a video installation revealing the real-time processing of this data seen from a series of different analytical points of view: each individual entry, phrase matching between entries and searches for the frequency of terms. It shows how the way war is thought relates to the way it is fought. Both are seen as, potentially endless, computational processes. The algorithmic imaginary of contemporary power meshes with the drawn out failure of imperial adventure.