UN leaders enter the Time Machine

Time Machine Installation
United States (New York)

To shine a spotlight on the lack of data, on 14 September 2016, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UNICEF and Spanish startup Domestic Data Streamers launched the The Time Machine interactive art installation at the United Nations in New York – a capsule structure that demonstrates data through art by translating childhood memories into data and into sound.

It aims to make the world leaders, and other participants of the General Assembly, look back to their own childhood and understand how they can change the childhood of millions of children today. It calls on the decision makers to invest in better data about children, warning that it is needed to accurately address challenges facing millions of children, or to track progress towards achieving the Sustainable Global Goals.

“It is in our hands to create a world where every child has an equal chance of being heard and seen. Children are the future, but the future is bleak if the present is neglected. And they do not count if they are not counted.” – Domestic Data Streamers

Users enter a futuristic box to be asked series of questions to remind them of their own childhood. Based on their answers, a personalised and unique song will be generated for each participant, translating their individual childhood experiences and data into sound.

Each individual song represents a childhood and serves as a link between the participant’s childhood story and children worldwide. A selection of songs are featured collectively on UNICEF’s Soundcloud as part of a ‘commitment playlist’, reaching millions of people online. Part of the installation is a “commitment wall” on which participants pledge their commitment to better data for children.

Written by

Coloma Serra, Domestic Data Streamers (19 September 2016)

Project leader

UNICEF and Domestic Data Streamers

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