There is now a video in which you can watch Stuart Macdonald, Data-X Project Manager, presenting on the Data-X innovation project. This project displayed collaborative research data ‘installations’ through an exhibition pioneered by University of Edinburgh research students from across the university’s three colleges. Data is everywhere and available in infinite formats. The Data-X exhibition gave students a platform to develop interdisciplinary and collaborative work that intrigued, excited and sparked curiosity in the people that attended the event. The video, directed and produced by Vicente Noviello, introduces the research students behind the data ‘installations’ and their project concepts. Meet Siraj, Julia, Adela, Sophia, Lucas, Luis and Bohdan as they explain how research data can be presented in innovative ways to visualise for example climate data, how people move around complex cities, and how to control the input and output of data in a challenging and fun interactive game. See how everyday commercial objects, like a microwave, can be turned into the extraordinary and how a ‘music box’ can act as a mechanical device that produces melody. Throughout the video, the sounds created by the installations provide a poignant background and provide a further glimpse into the audio-visual and tactile exhibitions experienced by our peers and the public. Data-X demystified the world of research data, and explored how data is transforming our world. We thank our sponsors, the IS innovation fund, the research students and all collaborators for the success of the project. Enjoy!
eTunes installation brought together novices in a collaborative environment
with no background in building musical instruments and audio devices.
eTunes demonstrates the both process and creative energies required to construct
such instruments and exposes some of the beauty of sound through
schematic data and audio and frequency graphs.
This excerpt is a movement of Oli Jan’s current composition project, “The Carnival
of the Endangered Animals“. The piece consists of several movements,
each of them featuring sounds of an endangered species (vulnerable/endangered/
critically endangered category according to IUCN Red List). Electronic
music generated from climate change data and acoustic instruments’ sympathetic
resonance are also used in the piece. The animal recordings are taken
from Macaulay Library (http://macaulaylibrary.org/) while the climate change
data from RCP Database.
Holding the increase in global average temperature to well
below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursure efforts
to limit temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial
levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the
risks and impacts of climate chang.
(Article 2, Paris Agreement, 2015)
How much do we really want to feel the heat if the blanket is extended in
future? Can we prevent it from getting uncomfortable? No more than 2°C
– that is the target set by the United Nations in the Paris Climate Agreement.
What does this number mean and how close are we to the threshold? Climato
-logist are assembling huge data sets to describe global mean temperature
change over the last century. The HadCRUT4 global temperature data set com
-piles monthly temperature time series data from 4800 stations across the
world. The data is expressed in deviations from the average temperature between
1961 and 1990. As numbers are often hard to grasp visuliastion of the
data set can help us to literally “feel the heat”. Numer-ous representation have
been developed using computer code and plotting tools. They are the inspiration
behind the World Temperature Data Quilt which aims to bring the data to
life in the real world. Colorful tiles representing the temperature deviation in
each month over the last years form the building blocks of the blanket. Sewn
together the quilt enables us to see connections and better understand climate
history and possible future trends.
Wind Gust 42048 is based on wind data from a buoy in the Atlantic Ocean during a time span of 5 days when the recent Hurricane Matthew passed overhead. The piece is built using a series of recurring motifs which grow in in dynamic and intensity, correlating closely to the intensity of the data from the storm. The musicians will surround the audience from above, and all will walk around, in effort to capture the nature of the chaotic storm interior. The proportions of the piece relate directly to the wind data, and the piece will end as calmly as it began.
Matt Giannotti (Reid school of Music – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sinterbot – Adela Rabell Montiell & Siraj Sabihuddin
Over the last 50 years, microwave energy has been used for a variety of applications including communication, navigation and drying of food. In the last 20 years, microwaves have revolutionised home cooking. In industry, it is used for wood processing, vulcanisation of rubber, meat tempering and medical therapy. Sintering is the process of compacting and forming a solid mass of material by heat or pressure without melting it into liquid. This is a natural process within minerals. The atoms in the materials diffuse across the boundaries of the particles, fusing them together to create a solid piece.
Conventional heating was used in the past to create solid pieces using metals. Microwave heating has recently become popular for this purpose as it has many advantages such as time and energy savings, rapid heating rates and lower environmental impact. Microwave heating converts electromagnetic energy into thermal energy almost instantaneously and with high efficiency. The use of domestic microwaves can be used to sinter metals. It is well-known that a metal plate should not be used inside a domestic microwave as its use can cause reflection inside and result in overheating of the system. However, metals in their powered form are very good absorbers of electromagnetic energy.
Please do not try this at home!
Inside the Black Box
We as humans believe that everything around us has a cause and a tractable effect. This illusion makes us feel in control of ourselves and our environment. In reality, most systems around us –and within us– are like mysterious black boxes. We cannot look inside them, and we only know what goes in and out. For example, think of a patient as a black box, where a treatment is the input and the health is the output. How much do we trust our intuition about how black boxes respond? When treating real-world problems like a bacterial infection, we must learn how to deal with the box’s behaviour. Otherwise, ill-advised solutions such as self-medication may backfire.
With the aid of mathematics and computers, scientists in many fields can simulate how a black box (i.e. a complex system) transforms any input into an output. This allows us to build predictive models of how the real system would respond.
In ‘Inside the black box’, we simulate a bacterial infection controlled by a hidden circuitry of interacting components. We challenge the audience to control the growing bacterial infection (red light) by interactively administering treatment (green light). In the process, we will collect time-series data about the behaviour of complex systems and test whether human intuition can outsmart intricate black boxes. If played by enough people as a game, data from high scoring simulations could reveal optimal strategies for diagnosis and treatment of real patients.
Surface of Significance is an ongoing research project in the School of GeoSciences with the aim of reconceptualising geographic space such that a relative view of space may be modelled computationally to support highly contextual maps on mobile devices. The Surface of Significance is a creative articulation of some of the core ideas that underpin the project. This audio visual installation explores the relationship between space, materiality and process, and focuses in particular on two ideas. Firstly, that space is not an independent, inert phenomenon, but is dynamic and has an intrinsic relation to the material world in the sense that structure and the spatiality of form are co-produced. The second key idea the piece explores is the notion of a unified whole that we interpret as exhibiting various different behaviours but is in fact a single ‘thing’. In this sense, form is space and vice versa, and our observation of the interconnectedness of the world gives way to a sense of a singular condition manifest in space and time.
At the heart of this work is the opportunity that is provided by computational technology to represent different phenomena as data, allowing us to conceptualise aspects of the world in a way that emphasises relatedness rather than reinforcing distinction. The Surface of Significance explores this idea by representing an infinite material surface both visually and through sound, with locally defined differentiation giving way to an all-encompassing structural state that is unified
Data-X is a University of Edinburgh IS Innovation Fund initiative which brings together PhD researchers from arts and sciences to develop collaborative data ‘installations’
The exhibition runs from 26 November – 6 December 2016 in the Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, Main Building, 74 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9DF
To accompany the exhibition a symposium will be held on 1 December 2016 in the Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art.
To register visit: http://tinyurl.com/jmet54a
• eTunes – Dr Siraj Sabihuddin
• Feel the Heat – Nathalie Vladis & Julia Zaenker
• Inside the black box – Luis Fernando Montaño & Bohdan Mykhaylyk
• PUROS Sound Box – Dr. Sophia Banou, Dr. Christos Kakalis, Matt Giannotti
• Sinterbot – Adela Rabell Montiell & Dr. Siraj Sabihuddin
• Surface of Significance – Lucas Godfrey & Matt Giannotti
Performance installations (times are approximate):
• The Carnival of the Endangered Animals – Oli Jan (6.00pm)
• o ire – Prof. Nick Fells (6.15pm)
• Wind Gust 42048 – Matt Giannotti (6.30pm)
We are pleased to announce that the Data-X exhibition and symposium will be supported by The Data Lab. The Data Lab enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from big data.
Each of the Data-X research groups have been working hard over the summer on their ideas and a number of data installations have now been confirmed for the Data-X Exhibition and Symposium. Members of each research group have been invited to showcase and discuss progress towards their respective installations on 19 October (2pm) in room D2, Argyle House (http://edina.ac.uk/about/contact.html).
The Data-X team will announce shortly the dates of the exhibition and symposium which will take place in Edinburgh College of Art at the end of November/start of December. As such planning has commenced on programmes and on promoting and publicising the events.
We aim to make further announcements over the coming weeks so please watch this space!