The Space Gallery in Eldon Building is host to a new exhibition of research and artwork that explores how we now live in a world of data. We use data in many areas of daily life – to monitor progress, status, detect changes, and as a basis for decisions on further action. The fields of life this is useful to range from the macro – political, economic, ecological, to the micro – the very personal, as can be seen in the trend to measure ourselves literally every step of the way with wearable fitness armbands to measure weight, health and energy consumption.
This project is part of this culture, seeking to utilize data in order to make movements in the shipping industry more efficient. More specifically, the data collected for this exhibition uses sensor data to predict catastrophic engine faults, which when undetected can leave a vessel stranded at sea with huge costs in time and money and endanger the lives of the crew and passengers.
The Centre for Intelligent Data Solutions based in the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries University of Portsmouth has teamed up with a consortium of 8 companies and developed a £1.4m project with funding by Innovate UK to develop an advanced automated condition monitoring system for diesel and electric engines, to predict and prevent catastrophic faults in a timely manner. In order to ensure the on board interface, which is the first point of call / alert, is as user friendly as possible, the team enlisted the expertise of Art & Design lecturer Dr. Simone Gumtau, who is working on visualising the data into and easily perceivable form, and allows non-experts make sense of the information.
This exhibition is showcasing the work in progress through prototypes and specially commissioned artworks – a set sample of data from a live industrial context in various manifestations, including data from the food processing industry and . The concept brief involved a set of instructions, akin to an algorithm, which determined the rules as to how 3 individuals with different skillsets responded to the data sample.
“It has been fascinating to access and interpret this data from large industrial machines, which is often unseen and inaccessible. There would seem to be a surprising commonality between man-made data and that found in nature. This work reflects my exploration of the data and works towards manifesting it in a tactile form”.
– Artist, Simon Kunath, who created the DataDrum
The data visualisation currently works around the idea of intuitive perception of errors. Drawing on theoretical ideas of Gestalt theory, embodied metaphors and image schemata, this process harvests pre-linguistic user understanding – enabling a lightening of the cognitive load, a quicker response time, less room for error and increasing the accessibility of the data. It not only widens the audience that can make sense of the data, but also possibly makes into a more intuitive and therefore more pleasant process.
The exhibition runs until Thursday 30th April at Space Gallery, Eldon Building between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) and is free!