Workshop Announcement: Narrative, Data, Sensing Local Environmental Data




Variable There: Reconfiguring Narrative Through Urban Data

About Workshop:

Environment data derived from urban spaces can produce dynamic narratives examining embedded social and political constructs of an individual city.

This workshop will explore the formation of narrative through the collection, collation and configuration of environmental data from the urban space of Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants will consider and identify unique points of entry through comparative location analysis around the city. Participants will then collect environmental data through an Arduino-based sensing platform and skin the data using Processing, into visual and auditory narrative abstractions.

This workshop will address the following questions: What is the narrative of an urban space as constructed through environmental data? How can environmental data be represented in a narrative form through visual and auditory abstraction? The outcome of this workshop will be a visual and auditory narrative abstraction, representing the urban space of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Workshop Leaders:

Diane Derr and Law Alsobrook of the Virginia Commonwealth University of Qatar.

Workshop Participation:

Maximum 6 to 8 people. This workshop is for the data obsessed interested in getting a different view on data of Johannesburg.  No technical skills required, but a knowledge of basic programming would be useful (but not obligatory)

To join this workshop, please follow the “early registration” button on the conference menu bar to book place on the workshop (for no charge) or email Tegan Bristow on tegan.bristow(at)wits(dot)ac(dot)za before the 29th of November 2014.  For more information on the workshop or the workshop leaders please feel free to email Tegan directly.

Workshop Outline:

Thursday, 4th: Narrative & Environmental Sensing Data  (13:00 – 17:00)

Participants will be introduced to constructs of narrative and its use as a tool within the collection, collation and configuration of data. During this phase participants will be examining comparative locations within the city through the lens of an abstracted narrative arc. Following the introduction participants will venture out into the city of Johannesburg to collect environmental data at various ‘hot spots’.

Friday, 5th: Visual & Audio Data Skinning (9:30 – 13:00)

Working with provided code, participants will examine the process of how data is ‘morphed’ into visual and auditory abstraction and narrative constructs. In doing so, participants will be able to adjust various parameters in the code, based on the incoming data, to produce alternate narratives.

Saturday, 6th: Finalisation  (13:00 – 17:00)

On Saturday afternoon, participants will install the final configuration of the workshop project to be exhibited during the Saturday night conference event.

Workshop Location:

Wits Digital Arts Division and locations around the inner city. Please see conference “locations” for the Wits Digital Arts Division address.



Posted November 05, 2014 in: News by Tegan Bristow