As a response to security issues in globalized cities around the world, public and private institutions have increasingly been adopting surveillance technology. In this new urban context, several ethical and moral questions arise from the use of digital devices. One of them is the treatment that these data receive from institutions. The Edgelands Institute, in collaboration with MATZA MEDELLÍN, gathered eleven international and Colombian artists in Bodega Confama to reflect together on Colombian society and its contemporary urban issues, keeping in mind its historical and social context. Colombian data scientist Sara Arango is not only a member of Edgelands’ team but also one of the artists invited to the COMMON GROUNDS project.
As urban sustainability is at the core of Sara Arango’s focus, she combines science with art in order to create links between languages. From the fusion of open data and images, PÉRDIDAS - ESPECTROS DE INFORMACIÓN flourished. Memory and information are the main topics of Sara Arango’s work, in which she induces the public to feel - not only visualize - data on violence in Medellín. PÉRDIDAS is a digital collage that humanizes numbers by making us both understand the many dimensions information has and connect with the narratives behind them. With her participation in COMMON GROUNDS, Sara Arango has taught us how to deal with rough data in a sensible way.
Created by Séverin Guelpa and Anja Wyden Guelpa in collaboration with the Edgelands Institute, MATZA EDGELANDS MEDELLÍN is a project held in Colombia between 31.01 and 17.02.2022. Gathering artists, experts, citizens, and activists together to reflect on contemporary issues, urban dynamics, and social tensions in the heart of Medellín, the project lead to the COMMON GROUND art residency and exhibition, which presented original artworks regarding security, digital surveillance, technology, and urbanization.