“Flow” by Kate Findlay from our Artists Data Day

One of the projects I got funding for this year was Artists Data Day – a one day workshop in September, bringing artists and technologists together as makers and explore ways to use Reading’s vast pool of data as a raw material for making art.

The artist with the best idea would be given £500 to create their work and exhibit it as part of Reading Year of Culture in December 2016.

Artists Data Day workshop held in Reading Town Hall

The workshop was a lot of fun, with plenty of time to chat and share ideas…

Alex sharing his 3D-prinitng experience with Nathalie and Gerhard
Felix, Simone, Neil and Lyndon

…but we were soon back to the task in hand, talking about visualising data with Praxis LIVE, creating data with sensors, making 3D models, etc…

Hatching plans

Back to the task at hand…

Later in the afternoon came Pitch Time – where the artists pitched their ideas. We had some great ideas from Nathalie, Kate and Celia …and the winner was Kate Findlay with her idea to use data about riverflow in the Thames, to create a new piece of work using fibreoptic filament:

Kate’s winning pitch!

Fast forward to December, and Kate’s finished work is on view in The Oracle centre in Reading! You can see it in the windows of what used to be Waterstone’s, and it looks AMAZING. It is called “Flow” and I love the way the light ripples along in response to real data about the flow of the Thames.

In the shop window of Waterstone’s in The Oracle
Close up view
The view constantly changes in response to river flow in the Thames

I made a 1 minute video which shows how the piece responds to different rates of water flow:

If you can get to The Oracle in Reading I strongly recommend you seek out Kate’s work. She is also exhibiting other pieces based on the Large Hadron Collider, which are just incredible! If you cannot get to see her work in person, then please visit her website.

Many thanks to Lyndon, Mike, Alex and Neil for helping to organise such a good workshop, and to all of the artists and geeks who took part and made it such fun for us all. Feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive and a good argument for more events to bring different groups of people together and create something new.