ArtBubbles: Field Notes Edition

Petko Dourmana bio

This first appeared in AAA's previous publication Field Notes, Issue 04. To read the "Note from the Editors" for full context, please click here.


Image: ArtBubbles app rating artists in <i>Field Notes</i>, Issue 04.
Image: ArtBubbles app rating artists in Field Notes, Issue 04.

ArtBubbles is an app for smart phones and tablets that shows the rating of participating artists displayed in front of galleries (and also on posters or billboards promoting a show) through big, colourful spheres. The size of the sphere represents the rank of each artist. The sphere is the aura of the artist, measured not by specialised knowledge of a single curator or critic, but by a machine algorithm calculating the artist's gross value by factoring participations in biennials and exhibitions. This automatised process of curatorial work turns out to be a good strategy to manage the growing number of artists and the enormous amount of art production through a systematic method of evaluating and organising of artists' careers.
The project is based on the algorithm behind ArtFacts (, which I have used to study the processes and tendencies in the current art world. Using this algorithm, some of my experiments revealed a Eurocentric bent that does not cover the Americas or Asia, for example. At this point, I decided to visualise shows with a large number of participants to compare how the algorithm copes with artists from different parts of the world.  

This is the second visualisation that utilises a world map where the participants are positioned within continents—this approach presents a revealing overview of the Eurocentric ranking database.

More information at:

Download and install ArtBubbles from Play Store for any Android device (back camera is required).



Petko Dourmana is a media artist based in London, UK. He works with a variety of contemporary art forms involving technology and new media. 




Wed, 1 Apr 2015
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