I am a multi-media artist which a specific interest in data-driven art. I have worked closely with data in all my projects this year to create visuals and sculptures that really mean something. Using data in a creative way allows you to represent things that are potentially difficult to understand in a fun and unique way.
My work explores the concept of time passing through tidal data and moon cycles. Using data that shows the rise and fall in tide levels over time I was able to create generative works that visualise this cycle in abstract yet precise ways. Each project explores a different timescale from minutes, hours and days to months, seasons and finally a full year.
Time Stamped is a collection of stamps that represent a day of tidal data from Aranmore Island – Leabgarrow in Ireland. Each stamp has a unique shape that was generated in Processing by splitting the data into individual hours. Once I had the data organised it was then mapped and randomised to create a ‘dot to dot’ that was joined based on where the points were in relation to each other to make an abstract shape. Every shape has 12 points that represent 5 minutes of data – meaning each individual stamp represents 1 hour, creating the 24 stamp collection for the full day.
Once the shape was generated in Processing they were laser cut onto rubber and mounted to wooden blocks to create the final stamp so that they can be used to print with ink to create artwork. Although the visual is abstract it is made entirely of real numbers from real records which is what I wanted to highlight with this project. Data is often seen as something that is intimidating and strict but when explored it can create something as playful as a stamp.
Time Stamped is a play on a time stamp that is made up of precise numbers that reads as detailed information about something. My stamps do the same thing in a different, more user friendly way.
Seaweed Prints is an exploration of my stamps printed onto natural seaweed. This simply helps give my project some context and provides a creative outcome that compliments the data that is being represented. This development not only gives context to the project in terms of it being linked to the tide but it highlights the detail of the stamps in a way that wouldn’t be achieved on paper.
I’m interested in exploring new ways of showcasing these designs because the stamps are so unique I think it could be nice so print them onto something that isn’t just regular paper. Once the seaweed was dried it became leathery and crispy which created texture for the ink to seep into and create a bubble effect that ‘bleeds’ and mimics water movement.
Tide Over Time
Tide Over Time is a series of 4 resin sculptures that show the passage of time over a full year and should be viewed as a visual calendar. Each sculpture represents a season from 2021 to visualise a year in a way that is familiar to anyone viewing it. I collected data from Millport’s tidal gauge from specific days of the year – when there was a full or half moon.
Moon cycles have a huge impact on the tide so to ensure my sculptures had as much detail in them as possible I had to keep the data set small so the ‘curves’ of the cycles can be seen clearly, since that is what really represents the time passing. Full moons and Half moons are considered opposites of each other so I used those days to create contrast in the sculptures since they illustrate the biggest difference.
Each sculpture is formed of 6 cycles, one full and one half moon per month, for three months making a season. They should be viewed with the intent to see time. Each cycle creates a curve that visualises tidal movement which runs like clockwork, steadily rising and falling each day. I used Processing to map this data into a curve which was then put into a Cinema 4D to create a 3D model of the curve which was 3D printed and cast in resin.
The final look of the sculptures is meant to portray water, with bubbles through the resin to create detail. When lit from below, this detail is really highlighted which is how these sculptures are meant to be viewed.