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Naho Matsuda: every thing every time

What stories can be uncovered from a city?

every thing every time is an artwork by FAULT LINES artist Naho Matsuda. The work transforms data streams from the city into poetic narratives, captured on a split dot display and presented in several locations across Manchester. The work was commissioned by CityVerve, the UK’s first demonstrator for smart cities.

Artist: Naho Matsuda

Date: June 2017
Medium: Public art installation, static and real-time data
Related: Fault Lines, CityVerve

With the rise of the ‘Smart City’ asking important questions of what we want from the future, where do we see ourselves in it? And can we see the urban landscape differently through the technologies that make sense of it?

every thing every time, an artwork by Naho Matsuda, takes information from our interactions within the city to tell a new story about citizens and daily life. As people interact with the city, a poem is generated, made anonymous and resonated across different locations, from a garden centre to a public library; a university square to a city laboratory.

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.

every thing every time uses data streams from sensors measuring things like weather, traffic and travel. These data streams are turned into an ephemeral, poetic narrative that offers a glimpse into the ubiquity of technology in the urban space.

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

What does data become without its informational value? And what happens to all the data that is collected from our ‘smart cities’?

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. 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.”

— Naho Matsuda, Artist

The city is being transformed as thousands of data streams are created, captured and connected each day. In every thing every time, Naho brings this incredible capability of the city’s technology to life in a surprising and delightful way. Expertly navigating that space between society and technology, the artwork creates a new outlook on a place we thought we knew.

Guardian Tech Podcast: How smart cities can create their own poetry

Naho Matsuda and curator Natalie Kane discussed the possibilities of live data in creating new art with Leigh Alexander.

every thing every time 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.

On 22nd June, we gathered in Hulme Community Gardens to celebrate the launch, inviting partners and the public to take a few moments with Naho’s quiet and contemplative – but ultimately impractical – data poetry. With FutureEverything chair, Vikas Shah, hosting the evening, several key people took to the stage throughout the evening: Drew Hemment (FutureEverything founder), Nick Chrissos (Head of Innovation Technology, Cisco UK and Ireland and a partner on the CityVerve project), Richard Elliot (Head of Policy, Partnership and Planning, at Manchester City Council) and, of course, the artist Naho Matsuda.

every thing every time is a FutureEverything and 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.

every thing every time was realised with the technical support of fellow FAULT LINES artists, Peter J. Evans and Dan Hett.

With thanks to The Developer Society.