Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

Carefully Everywhere Descending

Real-time data installation for PricewaterhouseCoopers' London Data Lab

Data is constantly flowing around us, silently making its way through the city — much like the River Thames just a few meters away from the Data Lab. Yet unlike this London icon its movement passes unnoticed, devoid of physical form, invisible and untouchable.

A collaboration with artist Kate Egan, Carefully Everywhere Descending gives physical form to this usually unseen flow of data, eschewing hard cold screens and instead transferring the cities’ data using light and tactile fabric to punctuate the space through a series of undulating cubes.

Real-time Twitter data reveals mentions of London versus New York as well as mentions of PwC. Tube data appears as gently flowing lines — the bigger the wave the better that tube line is running — whilst real-time weather data creates random clouds, moving across the wall according to current wind speeds, coloured by temperature data.

The installation features 220 bespoke fabricated cubes, each containing 4 digitally addressable LEDs on custom-made circuit boards. The cubes were then covered in acoustic fabric to diffuse the light and move them away from the idea of screens and how we usually might consume data.

The system is then controlled via bespoke software featuring a touch-screen allowing visitors to the Data Lab to switch to the different data sources.