The Saint George’s Cross, the emblem of England, is stitched into flags of differing sizes, each stitch representing the number of recorded crimes involving a knife or sharp implement in selected regions in England in 2013-14.
Threads trail, left hanging in anticipation of more crimes yet to be committed, the installation never quite complete, awaiting new data ready for the stitching to resume. Each flag’s dimensions vary drastically, as the relative area of each flag corresponds to the crimes per 100,000 population. Each stitch corresponds to the absolute number of crimes per region.
London’s flag size is distinctly larger in size than any of the others flags in the seriesdue its large population, yet the entire canvas is covered in stitches, reflecting the reporting of over 10076 incidents that year.
Contrast this with Surrey, showing the lowest number of incidents, the forty three knife crimes in the region barely completing a stitched one-line cross.
There are 38 regions in the UKand Knife Crime focuses on five of them. London, 10,076*; the second largestGreater Manchester, 1643; the smallest Surrey and two other regions, Essex, 43: 531 and Devon and Cornwall, 301.
This piece was produced in collaboration with data researcher Miriam Quick.
*London Metropolitan area (10076) plus the City of London (14 crimes)
Exhibition: Knife Nation was exhibited at Spektrum Gallery in Berlin, Germany in November 2015
Dd Davies & Andy Stanford-Clark
This exhibit celebrates the work of Isle of Wight Hidden Hero Andy Stanford-Clark, co-designer of MQTT, a messaging system widely used in the Internet of Things and applications such as Facebook Messenger.
The piece combines two of Andy’s keen interests:
Tracking the location of ferries to and from the Island. (For more information see the Twittering ferries at, for example, @redjets or @wightlink_por)
Another interest of his is “CheerLights” - lots of lights all over the world changing colour when anyone tweets a colour with the hashtag #cheerlights.
Dd, is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist who enjoys collaborative projects and interactive art. Dd has created a visualisation that “represents these two passions of Andy’s”
Dd has taken Andy’s data and with neopixel LEDs the sculpture shows the locations of the ferries on the Solent in real-time. Watch the neopixel dots move as they cross the Solent. The lights around the edge of the piece are the Cheerlights.
If you have a twitter account then tweet - #cheerlights red - (or any other colour you like) wait a few seconds and watch the lights change to the colour you chose. What is even more exciting is knowing that all the other lights across the world that have devices connected to Cheerlights will light up in the colour you chose, until the next person comes along and changes it again, that is.
(If you’d like to be part of the Cheerlights community then take a look at their website
FURTHER TECHNICAL INFORMATION
The “brain” of the device is a Wemos ESP-8266 programmed in C.
Live ferry positions are acquired from publicly-available AIS (Automatic Identification System) transmissions from the ferries. Data is processed in the IBM Cloud by a Node-RED application written by Andy, and is delivered to the sculpture via the IBM Watson IoT Platform, using the MQTT messaging protocol over a WiFi connection to the Internet.
The artists acknowledge the generous support of Arts Council England, Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes and sponsorship from Cut Laser Cut. Additional thanks goes to Stuart French for his assistance in the making of this sculpture.
An oversized ammunition box tells the story of a man and his gun.
Dd’s Faded Glory represents the ebb and flow of conversations on Twitter around Russia’s suspected interference in the USA Elections of November 2016 and the subsequent fallout, such as the congressional hearings and the Mueller investigation. Taking its feed from the live Twitter API the conversations are simplified to a positive or negative statement about Russia’s alleged interference. The more negative the conversations, the stronger the Russian flag shines through the Stars and Stripes until it eclipses Old Glory completely. Combining textiles using a devoré technique to distress the fabric the work is combined with LED’s and electronics and a twitter feed.
Medium: Felt, Electronics, Pins
Interactive Installation Size: 60 cm X 75 cm
DicktatorDon, the felt-fabric effigy representative of President Donald Trump is chained to a shelf by his ankle, staring out at the gallery. Above the shelf is a fake news tweet from the @theRealDonaldTrump written in his inimicalable style, declaring outrage that people might want to stab him with a pin at all. Below is written the slogan Making America Great Again, One Prick At A Time.
The shelf has a built-in pincushion and a gold mirror in which he can see himself reflected at all times, references to Narcissus and his trademark gold everything. With many pins to hand there is plenty of ammunition for people to grab and jab him with. Laughter, by far, is the most common response with people gleefully and enthusiastically jabbing him to great amusement. One group decided to balance him face down suspended on the pins whilst others flipped him over and jabbed pins in his eyes. He was certainly under attack. An added dimension to the interaction is that if you happen to jab him in the crotch with the pin his eyes light up. The interaction is designed in such a way that only ametal pin will work if it is to complete the electronic circuit. Prodding him won’t do, you literally have to penetrate him with something sharp and something conductive in nature. Perhaps the feedback loop gives way to a feeling of empowerment in the participant. They take an action and it is registered with a flash of blue from his LED eyes.
However, for all those who want to interact with him there are many who do not for a variety of reasons. Worried about its relation to voodoo makes some uncomfortable. Others state that violence acted upon him by stabbing him with pins is no better than the bullish manner he exhibits to the world. To this end, they believe him to be a stand-in for real thing, seeing their enacted violence as the real thing too. For most though, he has been rendered to a figure of amusement and ridicule and gets nothing short of what he deserves.
Project: Interactive Sculpture
Medium: Wood, Electronics, RFID
Installation Size: 5 m X 5 m
StarWay is an interactive sculpture where people can change the sculpture the more they interact with it.
Standing over fifteen feet tall, StarWay appears to have been thrown to earth with two of its points fixed firmly into the ground.
Each of the two hundred and twenty star light up under a bank of uv inblue, green and yellow. However, StarWay is interactive and each one of StarWay’s stars light up internallyif you are in possession of a ‘wishing star’. These ‘wishing stars’ once presented and placed on the ‘wishing star console’ (that sits in front Starway), results in one of the stars on StarWay to light up in pink. Once the wish is make the star that lit up for you will return to shining white but it shines that little bit brighter as a result of your interacting with it.
StarWay Interactive Sculpture
Example of how StarWay is interactive.
Medium: Mirrors, LEDs, Wood, Electronics
Interactive Installation Size: 3m X 6 m
This interactive installation explores the meanings we assign to words and how each person’s interpretation of both the word ‘fuck’ and the word ‘love’ can differ influenced by factors like culture, gender, the experiences, and expectations of each individual. Fuck Love brings to mind the notion that we live in a world shaped by technology and algorithms, influences that direct us to read certain items of news, or who to friend, or what to wear. A machine to tell us who to fuck or who to love, or both, or not to bother at all is not so strange.
Details of installation. The sculpture itself, consists of two LED infinity mirrors in the shape of hearts, that hang on the wall next to each other. On a plinth positioned some meters away, stands a third heart made of acrylic, that acts as the machine’s interface, its two sides accessible to two players who stand opposite each other. A hand etched into each side of the acrylic interface glows, inviting each player to place a hand on the screen.
Once a connection is registered the infinity mirrors on the wall light up, racing through a lightshow, with an ever changing array of colors and lighting patterns, finally settling on a conclusion.
Luma Module is an interactive ‘spaceship’ exploring ideas around false scientific claims, often referred to as Cargo Cult Science, a term used by physicist Richard Feynman. He was referring to practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but do not in fact follow the scientific method.
A machine inside the Luma Module reads your “inner light” status and delivers a verdict ofDevil, Demon, Angel, or God. By placing your hand on the machine you trigger a whir of lights that results in a trap-door in the ceilingdropping a ball into your hand in one of four colours. The colour denotes your state of enlightment. Red for Devil, orange for Demon, pink for an Angel and yellow for God.
The experience does not stop there though. The participants are then invited to donate the ball back the sculpture by placing it in a hole in in the inside wall. The balls then drops into the engine panels on the outside of the cabin walls, glowing under UV light. The more people that interact with Luma, then the more it will light up. By sharing your “inner light” you effect change on the sculpture. You give your light and the sculpture gives light back.