Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes

A new light display against the iconic St Patrick's Tower looks to explore the public's relationship with data and social media


Life, Love The Liberties

The Digital Hub, in partnership with acclaimed artist and inventor Robin Price, has commissioned one of its most unique art projects to date in the form of a laser installation called ‘Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes?’. The public artwork will see a nightly laser projection on the iconic St. Patrick’s Tower in the Liberties and will explore Dublin 8’s relationship with social media and data.

The project, which is part of The Digital Hub’s involvement in health and wellbeing initiative Smart D8, is aiming to explore our complex relationship with technology and how people share their lives through social media. At its core is to question the back-and-forth effect of algorithms on society and society on algorithms.

‘Do algorithms dream of electronic shapes?’ takes a random selection of Dublin’s social media, posted by day, and feeds them through artificial intelligence at night to ask what the computers see in us. Drawing out these digital dreams with laser beams, we can see what biases we have already trained into these algorithms, and how the ability to share and perform our lives through curated displays of imagery has changed us.

Commenting on the intent behind the installation, artists Robery Price, explained “St Patrick’s tower once caught the wind in its sails to power the distillery that previously sat on the site of the Digital Hub. Now the air around us is alive with the invisible data that powers Dublin 8’s present industries. Everything from sensors to smart phones wirelessly beam all sorts of data from both humans and machines, personal and public, back and forth from the WiFi access points and cell towers that are the new windmills. I hope that viewers are excited to see how what appears as a chaos of binary pulses of laser light projected on the side of the tower reconstructs as meaningful images inside the camera’s electronic eye.”

Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes will be displaying up to 1500 interpretations of images each night, with the laser light show running on St. Patrick’s Tower at The Digital Hub campus from dusk until dawn. The resulting animations and photography are displayed throughout the day both in the windows of The Digital Hub’s iD8 studio and online at the @do_algorithms_dream Instagram account.

The public artwork will run for 7 weeks from Monday 17th of January until Sunday 6th of March.

Supported by The Digital Hub’s Artist in Residence Programme. More at

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