Yorkshire Sculpture Park , UK

www.ysp.co.uk
17th - 29th August, 2010

During the residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, we collected sensory data and visualised the findings to reveal the invisible changes at play in the surrounding woodland areas. We conducted a series of experiments including a live link up between trees in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Human Sensors

During the residency we conducted several experiments asking visitors to act as ‘human sensors’ and to record non-scientific data (subjective data) on how they perceive the atmosphere around the tree in the park - where we were collecting the scientific data. We used this data to compare people’s perceptions and experience to the scientific data we continue to collect about the atmopshere, which helped us build up a picture of the park over the period of the residency.

The experiment involved:

1 - Taking a photo to capture the light and colour between the branches of the tree canopy
2 - Writing down what you feel the temperature is between 1 - 10 with 1 being the coldest you have ever felt and 10 the hottest
3 - Writing down what you feel the humidity is between 1 - 10 with 1 being dry and 10 being wet / humid, think about the effect on your body (sweaty, dry lips, static, wet ground below your feet)
4 - Writing down what you feel the sound levels are between 1 - 10 with 1 being the quietest environment you have ever been in and 10 the loudest environment
5 - Writing down what you feel the atmospheric pressure is between 1 - 10 with 1 being the lowest pressure and 10 the highest. Low pressure can make you feel dizzy (often experienced when you are in high altitudes) and high pressure can give people head aches and can be described as ‘the weather being close’, this happens often before a storm.

These are the results of the human sensors based on each individuals perception of temperature, light, humidity, atmospheric pressure and decibel levels around the tree.

Fig.1 Photographs and data collected by visitors in the park - Friday 20th August

Fig 2. Photographs and data collected by visitors in the park - Monday 23rd August

Fig 3. Photographs and data collected by visitors in the park - Tuesday 22nd August

Artist Walk:

As part of the design process we investigated the possibility of building an experience on a mobile phone that would enable audiences to augment their experience of being in the forest or woodland environment.  To support this design process we decided to conduct a walk in the park lead by us as artists to see what it would reveal and whether it would support a visitors experience to the park.  We used flyers designed with the function of marketing the residency and giving the public activities they could do whilst out in the park.  The flyers show a map of the park and the participants on the walk were invited to draw on the map to notate things they found and experienced along the walk.  This created a narrative experience of their walk.

We took the sensor kit along with us on the walk in a transparent map bag and invited each participant to wear the bag as they walked.  They had responsibility to check it was working, point the camera in the right direction and collect the data as they walked.  The aim of the activity was to see what type of data we could collect from a human moving through the environment, how this might differ from a static sensor in a tree and to see what design ideas we might gain from the experience in terms of a phone app that augments the forest as people walk.

Along the walk I talked through the project ideas and each of the artists talked with the participants, discussing their response, the things they noticed and noted down on the flyers and conducted a dialogue about their response to the experience.  They also took part in the human sensor activity (as described above) at different stages during the walk.

At the end of the walk we had a collection of data from the sensor kit, the completed flyers, the human sensor activity and questionnaires completed by each participant.