‘Ground Resistance’ now online!

Ground Resistance is a multi-site installation work by Wesley Goatley and Georgina Voss that creates a multiplicity of critical perspectives on the concept of the ‘smart city’.

Drawing on the material in the MK Data Hub, this online component examines how urban open data is often abundant, but unevenly distributed. We invite you to take a bus journey to explore the differing densities of open data across Milton Keynes; and consider how the presence and concentration of urban open data depends on decisions made behind the scenes about its availability.

This online component of the Ground Resistance project has been created by Stephan Hügel and Steven Gray, in collaboration with Wesley Goatley and Georgina Voss, using datasets and feeds from the MK Data Hub.

Artists George and Wes said: ‘This piece was developed to complement the centre:mk and NMoC installations, offering audiences an opportunity to consider the notion of data density across MK. As the centre:mk piece explores the temporal nature of data presence, challenging notions of ‘always on’, this piece examines how data – open and otherwise – can be unevenly distributed. We’ve worked with Steph and Steven to create a map which draws in material from MK:Smart and the wider datasets we’ve had access to, spatialising them across MK. Audiences can take a bus route across the town, exploring how the data density changes in each area; or can explore what data is present in each hexagon on the map.

This is a symbiotic piece which will iteratively develop and change over time, as more material is added to the MK:Smart hub and the density of data shifts accordingly across the map.’

Ground Resistance continues at two further sites in Milton Keynes, running from July 15–24th 2016:$RBTFN04

  • In centre:mk shopping centre, a shop unit has been transformed into a room-sized installation with a floor projected map shows the geographic spread of data on Milton Keynes. The map highlights both the presence and absence of data through light, shadows, and sound, while exposing the often overlooked temporal properties of data collection.
  • At the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, data broadcast by air traffic overhead is intercepted directly from radio transmissions through open source software and low-cost hardware. This data is animated live onto a map of the surrounding geographic space, exploring what forms of direct access we have to this crucial form of logistical infrastructure.

Ground Resistance has been commissioned by The Open University and produced by The Stables for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Tech Mahindra and MK:Smart with delivery partners Western Power Distribution, Anglian Water and Samsung. With thanks to centre:mk and The National Museum of Computing.

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2016 is produced by The Stables, supported by Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council and in association with centre:mk

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