Digital Atmosphere

Take a deep breath. Even if the air looks clear, it is nearly certain that you will inhale tens of millions of solid and liquid particles, travelling from one side of the planet to the other side of the world. These ubiquitous specks of matter are known as aerosols, which are invisible to the eye, however not invisible to our lungs.

Technology can help us to make the invisible visible, sensing pollutants on the lower crust of the earth but also in exosphere, deriving from GPS data from space.

Digital Atmosphere is an Augmented Reality sculpture which investigates into a future in which clear air may be reality through giving nature a voice using AR technology. It allows the public to experience the invisible change of air quality of different environments, locally and remotely using live data inputs which feed into an ever evolving virtual sculpture. The physical shape and digital behaviour of the artwork is inspired by investigations into early air pollution devices, such as Canary birds, and computational flocking systems, sensing, reacting and visualising changes of air quality in a poetic way.

This project is based on a year long R&D commission, part of the art and technology fellowship at Near Now 2019-2020, fully funded by Arts Council England. The spatial sound is influenced by conversations with scientists from King's College in London and results in an abstract non linear experience. The Atmo Sensor, which reads PM 2.5 and PM10 was developed in close collaboration with Swiss INT Studio.

Air Pollution is still a problem that connects the planet. This installation is the attempt of locating, mapping and visualising pollutants in a poetic way with the aim to help us to behave, breathe and share air differently in the future. How would you feel if we wear Augmentation Glasses on an everyday basis, picturing the immediate change of air and its origin – would this change the way we behave, move and navigate through future cities?

TECHNOLOGIES/MATERIALS: Unity, Cinema4D, Magic Leap, Atmo Sensor, Metal
COMMISSIONED BY: Near Now (Broadway), Nottingham, UK