Hidden Patterns: A Conversation About Networks and Arts
The image shows a data visualization: circles in different colors and sizes form a network. The colors stand for regions of the world, the circles for individual art museums.
Albert-László Barabási, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Burak Arikan and CAMP in conversation
Thu, April 08, 2021 7 pm – 8.30 pm CEST

Join Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, physicist and Director of BarabásiLab Albert-Lászlo Barabási, ideas collective and studio CAMP, and artist Burak Arikan as they discuss how network effects and big data are poised to shift our understanding of the dynamics of the contemporary art world.

Network effects pervade the art world, determining the success of individual artists, their access to exhibition opportunities. Big data and network science allow us to increasingly map out and quantify these effects, bringing out hidden connections that shape artistic careers. Meanwhile, network visualisations are themselves emerging as a new form of artistic practice. The goal of the event is to start an important conversation about the role of networks in art.

This talk follows the launch of »Hidden Patterns« currently on show at the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest until June 20 this year and will also open at ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, on 01 May, 2021, until 09 January 2022. The exhibition presents 25 years of research by Albert-László Barabási that uses state of the art network diagrams, visualisations and data sculptures to capture underlying structures and relationships that can help us better understand both art and society.

Join Serpentine Galleries Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, physicist Albert-László Barabási, Artist Burak Arikan and creative collective Studio CAMP as they discuss network effects, the exhibition and its broader relevance across contemporary art and science.

The event will be held in English.

The event will take place in the form of a Zoom conference. Audience members will not be visible, but will be able to pose questions to the speakers in the chat during the event. You will receive the Zoom link once you have registered here.

BarabásiLab. Hidden Patterns

The exhibition »BarabásiLab. Hidden Patterns« at ZKM | Karlsruhe introduces the work of the physicist and network scientist Albert-László Barabási and his research laboratory. The focus of the exhibition is the development of network visualization over the past 25 years, which can be seen in the projects of BarabásiLab.

The exhibition will open on April 30, 2021.


A visualization of a network is shown. The edges of the network are colored in different colors.

CAMP is a collaborative studio founded in Bombay in 2007. It has been producing fundamental new work in film and video, electronic media, and public art forms, in a practice characterised by a hand-dirtying, non-alienated relation to technology. CAMP’s projects have entered many modern social and technical assemblies: Energy, communication, transport and surveillance systems, ports, ships, archives – things much larger than itself. These are shown as unstable, leaky, and contestable “technology”, in the ultimate sense of not having a fixed-function or destiny, making them both a medium and stage for artistic activity.

Burak Arikan is a New York and Istanbul based artist who works with complex networks. He investigates societal issues and develops his findings into abstract machinery, which generates network maps and algorithmic interfaces, results in performances, and procreates predictions to render inherent power relationships visible and discussable. Arikan’s software, prints, installations, and performances have been featured in numerous exhibitions internationally. Arikan is also the founder of Graph Commons, a collaborative platform for mapping, analyzing, and publishing data-networks.

Albert-László Barabási is a cross-disciplinary researcher and founder of BarabásiLab who originally studied sculpture, before changing to the study of physics at the universities of Bucharest and Budapest. He gained his PhD from Boston University and is responsible for developing the theory of complex networks. He runs the BarabásiLab at Northeastern University in the U.S.A. and holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and at the Central European University in Budapest. He lives and works in Boston and Budapest.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show »World Soup (The Kitchen Show)« in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions.


»Hidden Patterns: A Conversation About Networks and Arts« is produced by Albert-László Barabási and András Szántó.

Virtual Event Production by Alexandra Russell, additional production support by Alex Boyes. Special thanks to the British Council and Andrea Simon from the Ludwig Museum, Budapest.

Organization / Institution
Serpentine Galleries

Accompanying program