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.
Wed 7 Sep • 18:30 – 22:15
Organised by Shrinking Space and the British Science Association.
Suitable for: 18+
The British Science Association and art collective Shrinking Space present an evening exploring the science of night through art. Set in a tropical paradise, audiences will follow a narrow path under a glass pyramid and the night sky encountering; soundscapes, sculptures, light installations and an immersive digital experience.
In The Eyes of the Animal
Marshmallow Laser Feast
In The Eyes of the Animals is a 360 experience, which allows audience members to see the forest through the eyes of three different species throughout their individual life cycles. This version is made for google cardboard and supported by The Space which helps great art projects reach new audiences. The original installation of the work – complete with sculptural virtual reality headsets – can still be experienced in natural environments on its current UK and international tour.
In the Eyes of the Animal is originally commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices and Marshmallow Laser Feast.
Untitled (Louise Beer), Homo Bulla (Melanie King), Black Hole (Rebecca Huxley)
Lumen – Louise Beer, Melanie King, Rebecca Huxley
Lumen are an art and astronomy collective who use practice and research, exhibitions, seminars and residencies to raise a dialogue on how humanity understands its existence. The practices of the three artists are focused on exploring how the invisible in space can manifest itself on Earth and the works shown at Plantasia explore the representation of black holes, voids and the so far unexplainable.
A tintinnabulation of cosmic scintillation
Suzie Shrubb with Kirstie Howell
Out in the darkness of space a chorus of pulsars sing their radio wave song into the cosmos. The music of this piece corresponds to signals produced by pulsars in the 47 Tucanae cluster that travel unimaginably vast distances and are given voice on Earth.
Thommie Gillow, Rebecca Hurwitz & Liz Lister
Of over 150 craters on the moon named after real people, just 28 are named after women. Moonbrella explores the stories of some of these women through the craters that bear their names.
“More than 3 million people in the UK work night shifts but research points to negative health risks.” The Guardian
Night Shifts is a multi-layered performance influenced by the work of Allan Kaprow and Augusto Boal, investigating the value and effects of a night shift on workers through invisible theatre.
Professor Mark Blagrove, Swansea University and Dr Julia Lockheart, Goldsmiths, University of London
Audiences will be able to discuss a recent dream they have had with Professor Blagrove and follow the technique that is used to match parts of the dream with the dreamer’s recent waking life events. Julia Lockheart, an artist based at Goldsmiths, University of London, will create a real time illustration that will capture the dream story. The dreamer can take the illustration away with them!’
Dr Thomas Davies, Exeter University
Learn about the impact of artificial lighting on plants and invertebrates with Dr Thomas Davies. Dr Thomas Davies is a conservation ecologist researching the impacts of nighttime lighting on plants and animals on the land and in the sea. He has been working on the European Research Council funded ECOLIGHT project at the University of Exeter for five years.
Paths to Utopia is a collection of new artworks, all of which are the result of collaborations between King’s academic, artists, architects and technologists.
The Paths to Utopia in conversation series provides a space for the collaborators of each of the works in Paths to Utopia to come together and discuss their Utopian projects. The series covers what inspired the myriad of diverging Utopian visions in the exhibition, how the process of collaborating changed and informed the outcomes and detail about the research and ideas behind the works. The talks are being live streamed by this is tomorrow.