From designers trawling climate change data to photographers swapping cameras for computers, information is at the heart of an aesthetic revolutionby Charlie McCann / July 28, 2014 / Leave a comment
On a cool Saturday evening in late June, the audience at LSO St Luke’s, a former church turned music venue in east London, heard the premiere of “Change Ringing.” Composed by Laurence Osborn, resident at the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub, the 25-minute piece was performed by nine string players and a percussionist sounding six bronze bells.
But these aren’t your average bells: the shape of each bell matches one of six graphs, which together chart the global rise in temperature over the course of the 20th century. The later in the century, the hotter the earth—and the steeper the bells’ slopes (the statistical term for this shape of graph is, appropriately, a “bell curve).” That Saturday, as the hammer-wielding percussionist coaxed resonant music from his instruments, ranging from 8cm to 23cm in diameter, the audience heard something akin to an aural representation of global warming.
These “data bells” were designed and cast by Peter Shenai, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art’s Master’s programme in Information Experience Design (IED), which explores ways of using…