Neighbourhood Air

JANINE RANDERSON, 2012.

Neighbourhood Air is an interactive, online artwork that gathers live pollutant levels from Auckland City air. The collaborative project includes urban meteorologists, programmers, media artists and breathers of air as a continuous feedback mechanism. Sensor instruments in Auckland, New Zealand provide a platform for continuously accessible, real-time information about city air quality.

Fluctuating levels of data drive the movement of the interface. Different sky-coloured bars represent five weather and gas measurements, including (from top to bottom) relative humidity, temperature, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The colour bars are a distillation of a process called ‘sky sampling’ using video. When the bars reach the far right of the screen the air quality is poor.

This work premiered at Screen Space in Melbourne in February 2012 and travelled to New Mexico as part of ISEA ‘Machine Wilderness’, in September 2012.

Visitors to http://www.neighbourhoodair.co.nz/ can use this interactive platform, which also functions on a smartphone or ipad, and collect ‘air samples’ for themselves.

As part of the project, Randerson has also set up a blog where visitors can share their thoughts, memories and photographs of Auckland’s city air.