Data Fiction v0.1



It's often said that dialogue in fiction is determined by the conventions of the novel, rather than by the way that people actually speak. However, artist Andrew Burrell and writer Chris Rodley aim to change all that by creating the world's first data-driven novel. With the tremendous growth of social media, the internet has become an ever-expanding repository of stories created by individuals sharing their personal milestones and tragedies online. Ninety percent of the world's data has been created in the last two years and dataFiction v0.1 aims to mine this vast resource in order to discover how people tell their stories in real life. Chris Rodley tells me that if you search a fairly standard phrase, such as 'You have beautiful eyes,' you hit on some rather surprising, yet common combinations. For example, 'You have beautiful eyes and a moustache,' which is not something that you would expect to read in a novel. The challenge for dataFiction v0.1 is to curate these snippets of stories into a novel-length narrative. I can't wait to see what they come up with. In the meantime, it was compelling enough to watch those partial narratives flash across the screen.
Anne Phillips, blog Visual Arts Hub
Artist Statement
We live in an age of big data, when much of what we say and do is captured and stored in vast, searchable databases. What is the future of the novel that most personal and intimate of artforms as private lives are increasingly turned into public data? DataFiction v0.1 is part of a major new collaboration between myself and artist Andrew Burrell that aims to create a real-time, data-driven novel. These excerpts of generative, network-sourced prose were presented as early work-in-progress, with the aim of inciting audience interest and critical feedback.
Source of Artist Statement


Rodley, Chris
Burrell, Andrew




Copyright Chris Rodley and Andrew Burrell. The copyright of images posted on the ADELTA Website belongs to third parties and is included on this website by permission from copyright holders. Apart from any use permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 (including fair dealing) the images may not be downloaded, adapted, remixed, printed, emailed, stored in a cache or otherwise reproduced without the written permission from the copyright holder.


Networked new media installation


Twitter/Coding algorithim


Rodley, Chris and Burrell, Andrew, “Data Fiction v0.1,” ADELTA, accessed January 19, 2019,