What stories can be uncovered from a city?

every thing every time, an artwork by Naho Matsuda, takes information from our interactions within the city to tell a new story about its citizens and daily life.

With the rise of the ‘Smart City’ asking important questions of what we want from the future, where do we see ourselves in it? As citizens interact with the city, a poem is generated, made anonymous and resonated across several locations, from a garden centre to a public library; a university square to a city laboratory.

the sun rises

the streets are empty

today is the last day of the term

the car park is almost empty

the traffic light turns green

the cleaning shift starts

the bus is on time

and it is colder than yesterday

A meditation on the data that passes through the fabric of the city each day, every thing every time questions not only the role data has in our lives, but the use and value it has as it is collected. Can we see the urban landscape differently through the technologies that make sense of it?

every thing every time is a piece of real-time digital writing, which is drawing from the many ‘things’ and ‘events’ and changes of ‘status’ that are constantly happening in Manchester,” says artist Naho Matsuda. “In every thing every time I have turned these data streams into narratives formatted as poems, that are stripped from their location information and any data transmitting purpose. Smart information becomes impractical poetry.”

The work every thing every time uses various data streams from sensors measuring weather, traffic and travel to more. These data streams are turned into an ephemeral, poetic narrative that give a glimpse into into the ubiquity of technology in the urban space. What does data become without its informational value? And what happens to all the data that is collected from our ‘smart cities’?

Online and in the news:

Poems are still generated at everythingeverytime.net

How smart cities can create their own poetry Guardian Tech Podcast. Naho Matsuda and curator Natalie Kane discussed the possibilities of live data in creating new art with Leigh Alexander.

City Clickers BBC Clickevery thing every time featured on the BBC’s flagship technology programme. (Available until June 2018.)



Re-commissioned by Great Exhibition of the North, the latest version of the artwork will be installed outside the Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne from June 22nd to September 9th 2018.


Initially commissioned by CityVerve, the artwork was installed outdoors at Hulme Community Garden Centre, University Place at the University of Manchester and CityLabs 1.0 from June 22nd to July 9th 2017. 

Manchester Central Library  hosted an extended run of the work from June 22nd to August 9th 2017.

every thing every time is a FutureEverything & FAULT LINES project. Initially commissioned by CityVerve, the UK’s demonstrator for smart cities, delivered by a consortium of twenty one partners including Manchester City Council, Manchester Science Partnerships, the University of Manchester, Cisco and BT.

The first commission from FutureEverything’s landmark talent and development scheme FAULT LINES, every thing every time was realised with the technical support of fellow cohort artists, Peter J. Evans and Dan Hett.

Drew Hemment, Founder and Creative Director of FutureEverything says:
“The city is being transformed as thousands of streams of data on everything imaginable happening in the city are connected and can be accessed in new ways. In this new commission by Naho Matsuda for CityVerve and FAULT LINES we were interested in how an artist could bring this incredible capability to life in surprising and delightful ways.”

“The audience can find their own meaning in poetry written by machines from the record of endless otherwise arbitrary events. Hidden truths are revealed about goings on in Manchester, from the return of a book to the library to the late arrival of a bus. The artwork creates a new outlook on a place we thought we knew, our place within it, and the change to our lives technology can bring.”

“In FAULT LINES and CityVerve we are looking at how artists can navigate the space between society and technology, and contribute to innovation in the Internet of Things.”

About Naho Matsuda

Naho Matsuda graduated from the MA Interaction Design at Goldsmiths in 2016. Her own practice investigates the social and cultural issues found within contemporary technological practice through a range of design outputs, processes and methodologies. With a particular interest in social engagement and interactive experiences, her transdisciplinary approach uses a diversity of media including performance, objects, installation, print and writing.

“In FAULT LINES and CityVerve we are looking at how artists can navigate the space between society and technology, and contribute to innovation in the Internet of Things.”

With thanks to The Developer Society .

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