YoHa says, “Power, Governance and Data has been conducting a naked love dance on this island since before the Doomsday book, it’s rhythms have quickened of late, multiplied and become amplified through database machines. New abstractions that order and compare the world are spawning new technologies of power out of the orgiastic revelry of a bookkeeping gone mad.”
With this in mind, their project, entitled Invisible Airs, took data itemizing the expenditure by Bristol Council and developed several machines that were driven by quantities drawn up from the database – the data, according to its amount, was converted into air pressure which animated the machines.
“After attempting to read 20,000 comma separated lines of apparently open-data, we understood that power revealed itself through boredom,” YoHa says.
Determined to show the importance of this data in a way that will captivate the audience they’ve made five contraptions that use air pressure including the ‘expenditure filled spud gun’ and the ‘public expenditure riding machine’.
The most intriguing piece however is ‘Open Data Book Stabber’: a laptop attached to a compressor pulls up data which is converted into air pressure per square inch. This air pressure activates an actuator with a knife attached to it. Once activated the knife stabs a book. This piece has particular visual resonance in that it highlights the spending cuts on libraries caused by the recession.
The project highlights the importance and prominence of data in our society. Even though we cannot see or touch it, that doesn’t mean we aren’t influenced by it every day. Invisible Airs reminds us once more of our burgeoning relationship with technology, particularly the sensitive invisible information that flies around us wherever we go.