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