Not a day goes by without a reminder of how data is all around us. It's not unusual to hear that 'data is the new oil' such is the potential power of data. But how do we appreciate how something so intangible impacts upon us?
A documentary on the recent work of media artists Matsuko Yokokoji and Graham Harwood (aka YoHa) can provide some answers. Alistair Oldham's film showcases the Invisible Airs project, a series of pneumatic data visualisation sculptures. Pneumatics is technology that uses compressed air instead of electricity and can be used to animate mechanical devices like jackhammers and shoe polishers.
With production assistance from Stephen Fortune, YoHa converted Bristol City Council's expenditure data into air pressure. The compressed air animated a collection of interactive pneumatic contraptions based on how much the council was spending in different areas. By touring these devices in a series of public art interventions they allowed the people of Bristol to feel the force of the data which influences their day to day lives.
Invisible Airs from acacia films on Vimeo.