The Black Shoals project explores new models of creative interdisciplinary practice in which art, corporate activity and academic research overlay one another. BT Future Technology Lab, Reuters, Pixelpark, COGS Cognitive and Computing Sciences Department (Sussex) and many other organisations all seconded staff to the project for intensive periods of research. Reuters provided unlimited access to their data services and installed a dedicated satellite system on Tate Britain’s roof for the exhibition, while in Copenhagen, Reuters had to upgrade the capacity of the trading systems on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in order to provide full global coverage for the planetarium The approach developed to visualizing real-time data was innovative in the way it challenged conventional use of financial tools, raising the tantalizing potential for generating predictive technologies from an art-base.
Black Shoals has generated considerable international media attention. It has been featured in various books and prominent radio and television news programmes, such as The BBC Evening Television News, and featured in articles on BBC Online News, Financial Times, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Guardian. Die Welt, CNN, PC World and Wired Magazine The project has featured in national newspapers across the world, such as Spain, France, Germany, Iran, Sweden, Czech Republic, Israel, Moscow, Turkey, Italy, Holland, Brazil and the US. It has received considerable interest within the areas of technology, computing, biology, science and finance – from stock exchanges to universities, companies and organizations, to financial newsletters and press. (see press and publishing list) The project has become useful as an educational resource within arts, finance, computer science and evolutionary biology, and papers on the project has been presented at various international conferences. An academic paper on The Artificial Life element on the project has been presented by Cefn Hoile and the computer code that simulates the Alife creatures has been released as a successful open source project http://sourceforge.net/projects/biomas which has formed the basis of several other projects.