Two Places – work in progress

Over the last month Two Places I Call Home has been developed to a working prototype. The work in progress was presented last week at the ISEA2013 conference in Sydney, Australia and at the Working Wonder conference at Newcastle University, UK.

Two Places I Call Home is an artwork which maps global rhythms through the real-time observation of changes in light. The relatively slow rate of change in the artwork offers an insight into the immensity of global scale and acts as a counterpoint to the fixation with speed we encounter in contemporary networked life.

The work uses two Arduino micro-computers to collect data via light sensors which record ambient light in RGB and Lux. Luminance values are sent to an online database where they are converted to hex colour. The system records real-world changes in luminance every minute and translates the values to a visual output on screen. One sensor is currently setup in Hatfield UK and the other was recording in Sydney last week. The project worked well but the code needs to be adjusted to capture a broader luminance range and the translation to hex colour needs further refinement.

The sensors will record a full year of changing light in order to capture the annual rhythm of global turning. My next task whilst I am in Australia is to find a more permanent place to house the southern hemisphere sensor. The work will be live again when the Southern sensor is in place.