BreatheOut – Seoul, 2018

photobyJaz

‘BreatheOut’ is a set of data-driven digital art, composed with a wearable and a large screen that artistically visualizes the air quality data of the city, particularly the micro-dust status of the time and the site. The air we breathe out unconsciously gets mixed up with the surrounding air, and we breathe in again. We share and pollute the air by breathing in and out.

Through the artwork, ‘BreatheOut’, the wearers can interact with visual representation of the micro dust particles in the current air by breathing out.  The screen version of the artwork visualizes the live status of micro-dust concentrations in the air into whimsical tiny moving circles in three colors of the stage: green being healthy, orange being sensitive and light pink being unhealthy. The LED lights embedded in the wearable also displays these statuses of colors at the same time, and a sensor is embedded inner layer of the mask part of the wearable to detect the breathing-out.

 

The air we breathe out unconsciously gets mixed up with the surrounding air (in Seoul this case), and we share air by breathing in and out.  ‘BreatheOut – Seoul 2018‘ visualizes the interaction of our breathing out, blending with the live visualization of the current air dust quality.  The artist relates this idea of data that influences our everyday lives by tracing, sharing and circulating.  Also, the idea of sustainability is apparent with this artistic theme as this wearable, Pancho has been created with a zero-waste pattern; a pattern that does not create trimmed throwaways of the fabric.

The large screen is full of whimsical particles in the shape of circles all moving toward one direction.  The artist visualized the air particles into small circles and refers them as, ‘air bubble’.  These movements of air bubbles are intentionally designed simple but computationally randomized, which creates a meditative environment where one can stare at it for a while. The live data was filtered through an algorithm in the artwork and visualized into tiny moving air bubbles in different color stages based on the AQI (Air Quality Index) Calculator provided by airnow.gov.  Each layer of colors represent PM10 (coarse particle matters) , and PM2.5 (finer particle matters) status and these air bubbles are joined with pink bubbles breathed out through the wearable.  PM refers an air pollutant that is harmful for health when levels in air are high.  Each layer of the air bubbles is displayed in one of three colours depending on the real-time data provided by the Seoul City Open Data API:  green being healthy, orange being sensitive and light pink being unhealthy for some people.

 

The wearable also displays the color status of micro dust in LEDs embedded, and a breathing sensor is attached to the inner layer of the mask part. We breathe in and out the very same air; therefore, the wearer also participates with the live data visualization with her breathing.