Translating Slow Violence: The Use of Environmental Data in Art as Un-Forecasting

Atsuhide Ito


This paper explores the potentiality of environmental data translation into affective artistic experiences. Slow violence in the environment is imperceptible and requires techniques of translating it into visual and sonic experiences. In the process, environmental data is used as a currency for translation. Shoshana Zuboff in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism discusses data collection is integral to a surveillance society, yet, data, when given back to citizens, can empower them, and in such a scenario, artists can play a crucial role. By discussing examples of contemporary artworks, the paper observes how ecological situations are captured as data and translated into affective experiences. Environmental data, however, is used also to speculate, predict, and even determine potential scenarios to happen in the future, as in the case of the weather forecast, and used to eliminate uncertainties. This paper argues that art helps make environmental data widely accessible, and suggests an alternative passage from predetermined scenarios speculated from data collection.


How to cite this article: Ito, Atsuhide. "Translating Slow Violence: The Use of Environmental Data in Art as Un-Forecasting." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 25 (September 2021): 39-48. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i25.459

Article received: April 25, 2021; Article accepted: June 21, 2021; Published online: September 15, 2021; Original scholarly paper


environmental data; slow violence; citizen science; contemporary art.

Full Text:



Adorno, Theodor. W. Aesthetic Theory, translated by R. Hullot-Kentor. London: Athlone Press, 1999.

Bridle, James. New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future. London: Verso, 2018.

Brown, Azby, Pieter Franken, Sean Bonner, Nick Dolezal, and Joe Moross. “Safecast: Successful Citizen-Science for Radiation Measurement and Communication After Fukushima.” Journal of Radiological Protection 36 (2016): S82–S101

Forensic Architecture. Cloud Studies., 2020.

Houser, Heather. Infowhelm: Environmental Art and Literature in an Age of Data. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. London: Harvard University Press, 2013.

Sloterdijk, Peter. Spheres Volume 3: Forms. Plural Spherology. South Pasadena: Semiotext(e), 2016.

Weizman, Eyal. Forensic Architecture: Violence At The Threshold of Detectability. New York: Zone Books, 2017. doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/36/2/S82

Žižek, Slavoj. Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. London: Profile Books, 2008.

Zuboff, Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books, 2019.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774


Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M24-2021). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.