Data Base and Big Data
The term "Data Base" has been coined for computer information systems in the 1960's. It is a collection of data. See Wikipedia , or for more references in French, our historical dictionary (in French).
Big data is more recent (Wikipedia).
In the web, the database is one of the central components of CMS (Content Management Systems). See an example in the Wordpress website and blog development and operation tool.
The workflow systems, used notably in the film industry, builds its processes around a base of assets (around one million of assets for an immportant feature animation film of today). See production.
The Japanese post-modernist thinker Hiroki Azuma. has introduced the "database model" as a mode of using the medias.
Data visualization has mainly practical applications, but may be considered a form of art. It's for instance the root of La mécanique des émotions by Moben.
The artists indexes of diccan are somehow a database about digital art.
Data base as a creation basis
Some artists build works in two stages: first, build a base of data (more generarlly, of assets, mainly pictures or video cuts), then assemble them manually or through algorithms (Métacrane, by Thomas Israel, some functions of Roxame by Pierre Berger, works by Norbert Hillaire...). Some artists go even further: they stop any direct captation and use the web as a database (many authors, for instance Geert Mul).
Roots for this compositing mode of creation can be found back to the 19th century (see [Brinkmann], and more generally compositing).
Red Girl, by Roxame. Made by the mixing of two images, randomly selected it its image base, then a fraphic filtering using a limited palette of colors.
That raises two issues: the assets selection, the compositing mode.
1. A random selection of images from a random built or very general base (e.g. Google) will create an illimited number of works, very few of which will be of interest. Then the artists has to make selections, at two levels: first in the constitution of their base, then in the choice of resulting works. Thse two processes can be (at least partially) automated as far as aesthetic criteria can be programmed (see our Uncanny Peak paper).
Thomas Israel, for instance, includes some features for each cut in his base, and uses them to build coherent sequences.
2. There are indefinitley many ways of compositing texs, images, sounds or video cuts, the basic ones being juxtapotion/concatenation and merging.
In the case of text, see the case in writing/literature.
Paris ACM Siggraph, the French chapter of ACM Siggraph, worldwide non-profit organization of computer graphics.