Datament. Polish Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

Datament is the title of Poland’s contribution to the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Datament is a monumental installation at the Polish Pavilion that allows visitors to experience data in its physical form. The space of the pavilion is filled with the frames for four life-sized houses from four countries, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland, and Malawi, on a 1:1 scale.

Commissioner: Janusz Janowski; Curator: Jacek Sosnowski; Exhibitors: Anna Barlik, Marcin Strzała. Datament. Polish Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2023. Venice (Italy), May 25, 2023.

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Official description (excerpt):
Datament, a monumental installation presented at the Polish Pavilion for the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, will allow visitors to experience data in its ‘physical’ form. The space of the pavilion is filled with the frames of four life-size houses. These seemingly chaotic and absurd structures faithfully reproduce the source data. The exhibition is intended as a starting point for a discussion about how, while new technologies may not offer us ready-made solutions, they can help us ask better questions.

In architecture, urbanism and spatial planning, statistical data analysis and the use of algorithms in design are having a significant impact on how we live now and will in the future. However, we are less and less concerned with raw data. Information processed with new technologies creates a distorted picture of reality. Based on this digital illusion, we make decisions with very real consequences.

At the Polish Pavilion, the viewer have the opportunity to experience data in its ‘physical’ form. The impressive installation will reproduce the spatial forms of houses from four countries on a 1:1 scale. Made up of almost two thousand metres of coloured steel profiles, the structures are based on averaged, generalised data on the shape, size and functional layout of houses in different geographical zones. The countries have been selected on the basis of how much statistical data they produce and collect. The installation faithfully reflects this information, but it has no bearing on the actual housing situation in the places from which the information is derived. A tool that was supposed to bring order to reality becomes a source of error.

Datament is the record of a dialogue between an artist and an architect. Anna Barlik works in visual art, local contexts, colour and composition. Marcin Strzała is an architect who explores the relationship between digital data and their physical manifestation in design. Together with curator Jacek Sosnowski, they have developed a structure based on digital data analysis. The title’s neologism, Datament, conveys the idea of the ubiquitous ‘data establishment’ that is constantly shaping the reality in which we live, create and dwell. “We share a world with data. Believing in their infallibility, we let algorithms calculate and design our houses and cities. However, without a sensitive and conscious designer, digitally processed data can create distorted solutions, such as those presented in the Polish Pavilion,” say the creators of the installation.


Anna Barlik, a visual artist, she uses sculpture, site-specific installations, drawing and composition to explore the relationship between people and the reality that surrounds them. Using simple forms, mostly made of powder-coated steel, she enters an existing space, highlighting the tensions and social problems within it. She draws from individual stories, which she tells using planes, lines, and colours. In 2017, she received her Doctorate in art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She has completed artistic residencies in Finland and Iceland. She is a lecturer at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, where she teaches composition and visual structures and runs a sculpture studio.

Jacek Sosnowski, a curator and psychoanalyst, he specializes in contemporary art, focusing on issues related to imagined social structures, identity or transformation through trauma, and the healing process. He is a designer of exhibitions, public space projects, and art-branding strategies, and a founder and manager of PRPGND (formerly Propaganda Gallery), an organisation dedicated to producing and promoting art. He is a co-organizer of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend and a member of Sinthome – The Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis.

Marcin Strzała, a designer and architect exploring the trans-disciplinary nature of architecture in the digital paradigm, his academic research deals with the processes of digital production and the relationship between data and its physical manifestation in architecture. His teaching seeks to exploit the potential of the synthesis of digital tools with the vernacular trend. He was a lecturer at Monash Art, Design and Architecture in Melbourne and a visiting teacher at Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology in China. He currently teaches at the School of Form of the SWPS University and at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology, where he has been involved in the Architecture for Society of Knowledge programme since the beginning of his career.

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