Kaki King’s


Directed by Annie Dorsen

in collaboration with Giorgia Lupi and Max Bernstein

Kaki King’s DATA NOT FOUND, directed by Annie Dorsen, is a contemporary musical and visual journey, powered by the study and illustration of data. It explores how big data and personal data have come to affect our lives, and what those effects look and sound like.

We are living in an age where data is king. In its most basic form, data is just a collection of facts and statistics, and we humans have been collecting it since the dawn of time. But in today’s world, data isn’t limited to academic study and record-keeping. Today, data is for everyone. Never before have we had such unparalleled access and computational tools. How are we using this power? How should we use that power?

Drawing on the success of her first multimedia production, The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, Kaki King’s guitar playing is centerpiece, joined together with Giorgia Lupi’s data visualization and analysis, and video and animation by Max Bernstein. DATA NOT FOUND will be the joint effort of a team of artists and experts (see more info on the entire creative and production team, below). It will be co-commissioned by up to ten institutions around the world, including the The Arts Center @ NYU Abu Dhabi and the International Festival of Ideas, with creative residencies planned to take place at MASS MoCA and elsewhere.


Common logic dictates you don’t shake a bottle before opening it … but something incredible happened when composer Kaki King and data designer Giorgia Lupi were brought together in such a way, tasked with designing a multi-sensory “Celebration of Mastery” for the 2017 Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège. Brought together by mutual friend and esteemed design technologist John Maeda, Kaki and Giorgia saw in each other a mirror image, separated by their disparate disciplines. What does guitar playing have to do with data-set visualizations?

It turns out the creative process can be augmented in bold and creative ways when data informs how we live our lives. But more importantly, how we live our lives also informs our understanding of data. The passion that was sparked between Kaki and Giorgia soon lead to other collaborations, including “A Dialogue Between Four Hands”, presented at Design Indaba 2017, and “Bruises”, a creative response to the turmoil in Kaki’s life when her daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease, presented at the STIR conference in Feb 2018. Determined to continue this investigation, Kaki and Giorgia are teaming up with trusted artistic collaborators from Kaki’s last multimedia ‘fait accompli’, The Neck is a Bridge to the Body, including Max Bernstein (video and animation), and Creative Producers Greg Kastelman and Vickie Starr.


As contemporary society becomes increasingly dependant on data to navigate our future, “DATA NOT FOUND” (DNF) serves as a cautionary tale. DNF reminds us that data is merely a tool we can use to represent our realities -- a placeholder for something else, but never the actual real thing. “DATA NOT FOUND” is a multimedia production, with iconoclastic guitarist Kaki King at the helm, exploring the role of data in our lives, explained through music and art, DNF is a call for Data Humanism. How can data visualization can make data more meaningful? How can data help us make a real difference in the world when the ways we relate to information are evolving ever more rapidly than? “The revolution will be visualized” says Giorgia Lupi, artistic collaborator, information designer, and the principal proponent of “data humanism”. We must embrace the subjectivity inherent in data collection and analysis in order to address our shared problems, meet our common goals, and tell our stories.


Can we feel data? Can we use it to express emotion?

Kaki, Giorgia and Max will work together, using music, data, illustration, video and animation to deconstruct and explore complex webs of behavior, thought and emotion. In “DATA NOT FOUND” Kaki and Giorgia will weave together a cathartic (and not necessarily narrative) story of beauty and hope in these disturbing times. The story hasn’t been written yet. The story will be created in the work that Kaki and Giorgia will do, over the course of their creation process.

The creation process for DATA NOT FOUND will take approximately 12 months to build and to workshop. It will begin with Kaki and Giorgia gathering a plethora of data, both societal and personal, and exploring the ways to tell the stories behind that data. Kaki will use this data to compose highly emotive musical score, while Giorgia begins to map out the visual story using Kaki’s music -- reflexive and mirror images of each other’s work.


As Kaki and Giorgia develop music and visuals, video engineer Max Bernstein will generate animated video content and other sound and light enhancements based on the music and art created, using projection mapping, multi channel video management, video mixing, immersive audio, audio-reactive video control, wireless in-ear monitoring, DMX control of wired and wireless lighting, and midi control of sound, video, and lights -- all of which can be deployed in a teaching environment to explore interactive media and performance.

Special thanks to the generous support of our friends at Potion for custom-building some new toys designed specifically for this show.

about kaki king


Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King has released 8 albums over the past 13 years. She has presented her work in prestigious arts centers around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, MoMA, LACMA and The Met. She has created music for numerous film and TV soundtracks, including “August Rush” and Sean Penn's “Into the Wild”, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

Kaki’s most recent multimedia work, “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”, has been touring internationally since 2015, including performances throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Turkey, Japan and Brazil. In addition to her own solo work, Kaki has collaborated with the string quartet ETHEL, and recently recorded “Live at Berklee” with a chamber ensemble, commissioned by the Berklee School of Music.


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Giorgia Lupi is an information designer, artist, and author. Data is her tool, medium, and material to tell stories. With her practice, she creates visual languages to represent data to make them more contextual, engaging, and human.

Giorgia co-founded Accurat, a data-driven design firm with offices in Milan and New York where she is the Creative Director. After receiving her Master in Architecture, she earned a PhD in Design at Politecnico di Milano. She is co-author of Dear Data, an aspirational hand drawn data visualization book available in bookshops in the US (Princeton Architectural Press) and UK (Penguin Random House UK). Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where in 2017 she also has been commissioned an original site-specific art piece. Her TED TALK on her Humanistic approach to Data has over one million views.


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About Max Bernstein


Max Bernstein received his BA in Media Study with a concentration in film and video production, from the University at Buffalo, and an MFA in film production and studio art from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked as a technical artist with the Wooster Group, a video and sound designer for Michelle Ellsworth, the Flinching Eye Collective, a contributing artist for You and Me, one half of Outlier, a video artist for Friends Of The Tank, and a life long multinstrumentalist, a member of Eupana, composer, and sound engineer at Tribal Studio. Bernstein’s personal works combine elements of cinema, theater, sculpture, performance, and newmedia, often-exploring contemporary notions of representation and phenomenology through experimental narrative and technology. His media, performances, and installations have been exhibited internationally at such diverse venues as Albright Knox Art Gallery, The Denver Art Museum, The New School, Tucson MOCA, AS220, WNDX festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Vox Populi Gallery, CentralTrak Dallas, the Biennial of the Americas, and possibly the side of a building in your neighborhood. Bernstein has taught film history and production at the University of Colorado Boulder, and video art at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He is also Kaki King’s video engineer and touring partner.


In becoming a commissioning agent, you will receive:

  • Commissioning credit in all show literature, for all premiering performances, and in perpetuity

  • An option to premiere “Data Not Found” in your geographic region (co-commissioners capped at 10-12, nationally and internationally; performance fee to be negotiated separately from this commission)

  • Opportunities to bring Kaki and Max to your venue for creation residencies and educational workshops, which can be designed to include hands-on learning situations with students and / or community members. ** Both Kaki and Max have experience teaching. Giorgia Lupi may also participate in some of these where appropriate.

  • “Works in progress” presentations of the show for students and faculty to experience the show and offer feedback, through live-streaming and in live presentation formats