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This March sees the US premiere of Naho Matsuda’s mesmerising data-poetry artwork at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas

Harnessing public art to explore the Smart City

In the digital age, data surrounds us, nowhere more so than in our cities. But what kind of stories can urban data tell about a city, its citizens and its visitors? And would we perceive our surroundings differently if we could experience this data in a different form?

We’re very excited to announce that Naho Matsuda’s EVERY THING EVERY TIME is heading to SXSW next month with British Underground’s Future Art and Culture Programme. Harnessing public art to explore the ‘Smart City’, EVERY THING EVERY TIME broadcasts poetry on a large mechanical display, urging deeper reflection on the role of data in our lives, personal privacy and our place in future cities.

Transforming the every day into data-poetry

Every day, a vast amount of data is gathered about us. It is processed by technologies and technologists alike, but who collects and controls this information? And how is it captured or stored? EVERY THING EVERY TIME processes data typically captured and published by ‘smart city’ technologies, consumer devices, private and public institutions, and various media, using this data to create poetry based on your interaction with the urban environment.

Through careful curation of data that describes events, from the mundane to the marvellous, life in Austin will be expressed as poetry on a mechanical split-flap display resembling the destination boards once found in railway stations. Delving into the expanding scope of data collection and the ‘smart city’, the work invites audiences to reflect on our increasingly complex relationship with technology and the global phenomenon of ‘surveillance capitalism’.

“In EVERY THING EVERY TIME I turn data streams into poems. The work interrogates where data comes from, who owns it and how it’s used. South by Southwest is the work’s first international showcase, so I’m very excited to see the stories generated from Austin’s data.”

Naho Matsuda, Artist

Part of the Future Art and Culture Programme

Continuing a legacy of transdisciplinary research and Data Art commissioning, FutureEverything’s work with British Underground adds to a wider touring portfolio, in recent years producing work in Russia, Singapore and Taiwan. Speaking of the FutureEverything collaboration Crispin Parry CEO of British Underground, says: “Naho Matsuda’s EVERY THING EVERY TIME, in Austin’s Brush Square is an important addition to our Future Art and Culture programme at South by Southwest and brilliantly showcases how public data and digital technology can be utilised to make great art.”

EVERY THING EVERY TIME is on tour throughout March 2019.

SXSW, Austin, Texas
8 – 14th March

Nesta: Alternative Futures, Bristol
26th March

EVERY THING EVERY TIME is an artwork by Naho Matsuda, produced by FutureEverything. Industrial design and assembly by Raskl using software by Paul Angus and Dan Hett. The work is part of the Future Art and Culture programme at SXSW, presented by British Underground and supported by Arts Council England. This presentation is also supported by British Council and features in their Anyone//Anywhere: the web at 30 season. EVERY THING EVERY TIME was first commissioned in Manchester (UK) as part of CityVerve – a project creating a blueprint for smarter cities worldwide.

Download the full press release