Datanature is a multi-site electronic installation in and around San Jose International Airport in California. The project was commissioned by the City of San Jose Public Art Program to coincide with a festival of electronic art. The brief was to develop an artwork which focused on the Airport as a "gateway to the community."
The main physical components of Datanature are two ticket machines, one inside the terminal building at San Jose International Airport, and one in a public plaza in downtown San Jose, under the airport's flight path. Passers-by (visitors to the art festival, airport employees and passengers, office workers...) are invited to push a button on the Datanature machines, at which point a unique souvenir artefact resembling a flight ticket/boarding card is printed and dispensed.
Each printed card is created via custom software that compiles data, both real-time and archived, into a unique montage. Each element of the montage reflects a different data source pertaining to an aspect of day-to-day airport operations. Some elements of the montage are readily comprehensible, whereas some pieces are left more cryptic. Additionally, the image of the passer-by who activates the machine also features in each printed montage--the ticket machines each house a small camera that is triggered as the button is pressed. The character and content of the printed montage suggests an intricate interconnectedness between seemingly disparate aspects of San Jose International Airport, its environs, and its community.