In January 2017 over 3,000 people participated in #SpacetoBreathe, a weekend of creative action in response to London's air pollution crisis.
The artworks, debates and workshops presented over the course of the weekend offered solutions as to how we, as individuals can take practical action to make our cities less congested, cleaner and more energy efficient.
Huge thanks to all the artists, partners, supporters and audiences!
Space to Breathe was commissioned and produced by Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space, in partnership with King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group.
Part of Utopia 2016 - a year of imagination and possibility
#art #science #action #airpollution
Supported by: Arts Council England, The Physiological Society King's College London, Somerset House and Virtual Reality Hire Ltd
Wesley Goatley is a man on a mission. The London based artist and researcher has recently taken his experience working with sound and technology to the worrying issue of London’s air quality.
‘Your thoughts on air pollution tend to go one way, which is “oh this is awful and we’re on a one way track with it.” This is an attempt to make work which feels empowering, and invites people to explore it.’
‘This’ is Breathing Mephitic Air, a new immersive sound instillation commissioned by the production company Shrinking Space ahead of their major collaboration with Cape Farewell, King’s and Utopia 2016 later this month. Inspired, or perhaps disheartened, by the poor air quality in the capital, which breached the pollution limit for the year within the first five days of 2017, the organisations have teamed up to host Space to Breathe, a weekend of exhibits, talks, workshops and creative action.
Breathing Mephitic Air will use data visualisations alongside a 360-degree speaker arrangement to sonify six months’ worth of air quality data, creating a tangible representation of the particles in the London air, as Wesley explains:
‘Every single day between Brexit and the 2016 US election is represented, at a rate of one hour per second. The Environmental Research Group at King’s have provided the values for specific forms of air pollution and the average wind speed and wind direction. That wind direction data really informs how people experience the piece, because that direction and that speed moves the sounds dynamically through the space.’
The piece grew out of a previous foray into these issues called Watching Mephitic Air, which Wesley created for the London Design Festival in partnership with fellow artist Tobias Revell. It has now evolved from an audiovisual work to an installation that explores space and sound in much greater detail. The larger perspective has allowed the artist to begin to examine air pollution issues on a global scale, using specific sounds and visuals to illustrate the data and reveal new narratives of the international systems of air pollution.
Read the full interview here
Space to Breathe
Dates: 28 -29 January 27
Open: 12.00 – 18.00
Tickets: Free, drop-in
Address: River Rooms, New Wing, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Supported by: Arts Council England, The Physiological Society, King’s College London's Environmental Research Group and Somerset House Trust.
Interview by Ottilie Thornhill, Masters Student, King’s College London.
Opportunity for sonic artist/musician
We're delighted to announce a new partnership with Cape Farewell and King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group to curate a collection of events around breathing, pollution and congested cities – and ways to mitigate/re-green them. The works will be presented at Somerset House at the end of January 2017 as part of Utopia 2016 – a year of imagination and possibility.
We're commissioning a brand new sound/music piece that responds to the following themes:
1. Breathing and our lungs
2. City pollution and research by King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group
3. Imagining the Utopian alternative
For full details of the call out please visit our opportunities page.
Thanks to Hewlett Packard Labs for their write up of the brilliant Miranda Mowbray's involvement in Project Doomsday at New Scientist Live.
What if a weaponized botnet went out of control? Labs’ Miranda Mowbray saves the world
If your idea of a conference is a series of dry, if important, keynotes, The Royal Society’s New Scientist Live confounds that expectation. The event has its share of talks, but it also presents its participants with a series of scenarios, which they attempt to address or solve.
Among the scenarios in last weekend’s event in London was "Project Doomsday," or "AI apocalypse: 60 minutes to save the world," produced by Shrinking Space for New Scientist Live. And among the participants parsing the possible responses was Labs’ Bristol-based research scientist Miranda Mowbray.
Mowbray had taken part in a previous Royal Society event discussing the use of machine learning to identify malware, so when the organizers began putting together panels of experts to handle machine self-awareness and AI malfunction, they invited her to travel in from her Labs bunker in Bristol to London.
The novel set up, “Got the audience engaged without depressing them,” said Mowbray. “It was a different kind of audience engagement than I’m used to.” The experience was “splendid,” she said, “and you’ll be glad to hear that we did manage to save the world.”
New Scientist Live, for those unfamiliar with it, is a grown-up version of the science fair ranging over three days in the U.K.’s capital. It is co-sponsored by the British popular science publication New Scientist, and the audience tends to be those members of the public with a non-professional interest in science.
Read the full post on Hewlett Packard's community page.