Data Projector

Jerwood Open Forest, Jerwood Gallery, London, 2014.

various lengths
multi-channel SD
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Data Projector is an installation which considers scientific data as a representation of nature. A wooden observation tower which once collected data in the heart of a forest, now projects it onto the gallery walls and into the space, serving as a symbol for human endeavour.

Through the course of capturing and processing the data, nature has taken on new forms now bearing the signature of human intervention; canopy and forest floor videos become snapshots of a forest’s yearly cycle through time-lapse capturing and appear as curious circular forms, we hear data which has been transformed into waveforms and brought into our audible range, and a series of sculptural drawings which image the same data. Through humanising the data in this way new perspectives are offered of the physical world.

There’s a sense of the hand made at work; the clunky tower and the hand-made carbon paper, suggesting the presence of the human observer trying to make sense of the world. Yet, there’s also a precision which comes with the data, bringing structure and rhythm and creating a sense of complexity to what we see and hear. This conversation between analogue and digital plays with the divide between how science represents nature and how we experience it.

Data courtesy of ‘Phenological Eyes Network’ (PEN), UK-Japan Collaborative Project. Many thanks to Matthew Wilkinson, Forestry Commission Scientist at Alice Holt Research Station.

Data Projector was made during a research and development period for Jerwood Open Forest and exhibited at Jerwood Space, London, January and February 2014.