In this Fireside Chat with artist Ed Carter and technologist David Cranmer and hosted by Joeli Brearly, we’ll explore deeper into their latest work, Smoke Signals, a FutureEverything commission that takes data beyond the confines of the screen to visualise digital interaction, and learn more about their own practises and approaches to data art.

Ed Carter devises and creates interdisciplinary projects that are context-specific, with a focus on sound, collaboration, process and technology. He takes patterns, associations, rhythms and chronology, and uses these to form the structures of new site-specific projects. Much of Ed’s work is inspired by the notion employed by architect and composer Iannis Xenakis, who believed a single artistic thought can be represented mathematically through any medium. 40,000 people visited Ed Carter’s 2012 project ‘~Flow‘ (a collaboration with Owl Project), which was commissioned as part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of large-scale public art commissions funded by the UK Arts Councils celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. ~Flow is a tidemill – a floating mill house moored on the River Tyne (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK), housing a series of wooden musical machines powered by a 4.5m waterwheel, which respond to the constantly changing environment of the tidal river.

David Cranmer has been creating electronic and mechanical sculptures since 1998. These have been used to delight audiences in a variety of venues worldwide. He has produced installations for events including Southbank Ether Festival, Kinetica Art Fair, Frieze Art Fair and HKW Worldtronics Berlin. Time spent in the special effects industry has fine tuned his love of dangerous machinery and dramatic engineering, and a keen interest in experimental audio has led to many sculptures taking the form of unusual musical instruments.

Smoke Signals has been presented as part of ArtsAPI, a year-long project by FutureEverything (lead arts organisation), University of Dundee (academic partner) and Swirrl (technology partner), made possible through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.