Data Detox Kit

If you do not already know about the Data Detox Kit presented by Tactical Tech and Mozilla you should check it out. The Data Detox Kit is a insightful and also entertaining way to clean up your data mess – to understand the digital lugage we all leave behind without necessarily understanding how it will impact our future life and decisions. You will clear up your location footprints and degooglise your life. The Data Detox Kit has been translated into lots of languages and hopefully later this year into Danish as well.

Tactical Tech is an international NGO that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore the impacts of technology on society. Tactical Tech. Besides the Data Detox Kit they have been involved in many other projects informing the genral public about the possibilities and pitfalls of technological progress.

They also have lots of concrete ideas and activities to use in a classroom or workshop setting, so if this is something you are considering to do, their website is a great place to start.

Strengthening Data Competencies through an Interactive Installation

We are currently working on the concept design for an installation in collaboration with the Alexandra Institute (DK). The installation gives citizens of Aarhus new insights on local areas in Aarhus. Furthermore, children from the Aarhus area are given the opportunity to strengthen their data competencies through a combination of:

  • micro:bit programming
  • data harvesting from sound sensors
  • data stories through interactive data visualization.

At the moment we imagine the following scenario – but this may change as we uncover new territories:

The installation is an interactive map of the sound of Aarhus. The map changes with the sound and pulse of the city. Imagine standing in front of a traditional map of your neighbourhood (eg. Google Map). Instead of topology or infrastructure the map is shaped by data from sound sensors in your area.

This provides the user with new possible insights on the area; where do I find rest and peace in my neighbourhood? And when? What other areas with Aarhus provide similar possibilities for contemplation – but at other times? Why is that? This allows for uncovering new perspectives of neighbouring areas.

We’ve chosen the working title “Asphalt Oasis” for the installation:

The data for the installation is partly based upon real-time data from the CityProbe sensors that are placed around the inner city of Aarhus (DK). Currently 22 CityProbes are active, and during Spring 2019 48 CityProbes wil be located throughout the inner city of Aarhus thanks to Teknik og Miljø.

Data from the CityProbes can be accessed via the platform Open Data DK.

The second data source for the installation are elementary schools classes within the area. They are invited in by the Aarhus Public Libraries for two workshop days during a period of 2 weeks. The workshops will give them insights on programming micro:bits in order to perform their own data harvest and data contribution for the installation. In this way students will contribute with data from their local area – and the installation uncovers further sonic territories on the sound map.

Sketch on installation design

This is the current state of our installation design. The Alexandra Institute is working on producing a motherboard that houses the micro:bits, we are programming during the workshops.

The motherboard expands the functionality of the micro:bit by introducing great new features. e.g.:

  • new ways of powering the micro:bit over longer periods
  • data transmission over LoRaWan
  • improved sound sensors

Design print for the motherboard housing the micro:bits

Furthermore, the Alexandra Institute is working on the technical solution that integrates data sources and visualizes the data.

We imagine the installation to take form in a custom build setup at Dokk1, Aarhus. The installation will be based on mostly existing hardware, including the grid-based furniture already in use for exhibitions within the library space and possibly screens, projectors and computers.

The installation has to be able to communicate the scope of installation itself as well as basic information on the project behind the installation.

The design is still under development. But this is the current state. We look forward to shaping it further the coming months.

In May 2019 we will run the first test workshops with the actual motherboards, micro:bits and technical infrastructure – as well as the first basic visualizations at Dokk1, Aarhus (DK).

Smart sleepers and video photography

3D illustration of Interconnected neurons with electrical pulses.

On the 16th January you can get an introduction to the collaborative art-work “Sleep in the city”, meet the artists and try the technology.

Smart Aarhus is in a collaborative process with the artists Virgile Novarina and Walid Breidi for the creation of an artwork performance during the June 2019 IOT Festival (Internet of Things) week in Aarhus.

The artwork will consist of a dream-like atmosphere in the city at night, where videos of the city taken during the day will be recreated in real time by people’s sleep brainwaves. The components of this participative artwork are interactive video clips, sleep data from a number of “smart” sleepers including that of the sleep artist Virgile Novarina.

The artists wish to invite you to reflect upon the importance of sleep in urban life and the role of the internet in your life.

Become a Smart Sleeper

Do you want to take part in the performance, and become a smart sleeper for one night? We will lend you a headband with sensors, and your brain waves will transform the video stream in real time. This event is a briefing for those who wish to participate.

Testing Muse headband at Dokk1 – The Data Democracy project will be doing workshops for schools about datastories created with brainwaves…

Filming your favorite place in Aarhus

You can participate in creating Sleep in the City, by sending the artists a video clip of something close to your heart – a place or people here in Aarhus. 7 videos made by the public and edited by the artists will be screened on public displays of Aarhus. The video clip should be 1 minute long, and you can film it with your smartphone, video recorder or camera, what matters to us is that the content is memorable and significant to Aarhus. The videos can be sent to Virgile Novarina:

If you chose to share your experience with the artwork online, please use: #sleepinthecityaarhus, #smartaarhus and #vertigostarts