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We Need Us

This real-time animation gives ‘life data’ a life of its own.

We Need Us is a living artwork, powered by people and influenced by data. It is a live online animation that explores data about life, and the life of data.

Julie Freeman’s artwork creates sounds and animation from metadata – data about data – taken from the activities of citizen science project Zooniverse, which allows anyone to view, analyse and use scientific data.

Unlike traditional data visualisation, which helps us understand and make sense of information using graphics, We Need Us looks at what is unique about the data itself.

If the data had a life of its own, how would it be revealed?

Please note: This artwork is best viewed in Google Chrome with headphones and sound on.

Watch the animation

About this Artist

We Need Us was commissioned by The Space and created by Julie Freeman using data from Zooniverse.

Julie Freeman is a visual, audio and digital artist whose work explores relationship between society, science and nature. She is particularly excited by data from living things – how we use it translate nature, and what ‘life’ it might have itself as a material for making art.

Freeman’s work has been shown at the V&A, ICA, Kinetica, Barbican Centre, the Science Museum, and venues across the world. She is a TED Senior Fellow, a Nesta Fellow, and leads the 'Data as Culture' art programme at the Open Data Institute.