IoT Art - Real Time Networked Art Installations

These innovative networked art projects show the many ways that real-time data can be visualized...

Showcasing the many ways that using real-time data like weather, pollution sensors, wave monitoring and all the other outputs that are streaming around us can be used to visualize and engage our environment in new ways.


1) eCLOUD Project:

Image: spencer lowell and www.ecloudproject.com

Installed in the San Jose International Airport eCLOUD is a permanent art work by Aaron Koblin, Nik Hafermaas and Dan Goods. It is constructed from polycarbonate tiles that fade in between transparent and opaque states and are controlled by real time weather from NOAA from locations around the world. This data is used to create a simulation representing weather from any of the international locations by turning the individual tiles on and off in a certain pattern. The simulation is visualized within the cloud sculpture as well as on a dynamic display placed at eye level in the terminal.

View the process, technology and additional details about the project here.

2) Living Light:
Image: The Living

Designed by Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin of The Living where one of their overall goals is to provide architecture and facades that inform, are functional, and begin to use data to become more efficient. This project is placed in a public park in Seoul and was created with a skin of panels whose shape mimics the shape and districting of the city. Every 15 minutes, the neighborhood panels light up in order of best air quality to worst based on 27 real-time sensors provided by the Korean Ministry of Environment. Neighborhoods are also illuminated if the air quality is better on that particular day than the same time last year and individuals can text message in to check pollution data and see their interaction show up on the map.

Read more about the process and see some interviews from the creators here.

3) Light Bridge

Image: Andy Ryan Susanne Seitinger and Pol Pla

LightBridge is a project recently installed on the Harvard bridge by Susanne Seitinger a researcher in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and Pol Pla a graduate student in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Susanne's recent Ph. D. was titled Liberated Pixels: Alternative Narratives for Lighting Future Cities and explored the aesthetic and interactive potentials for future lighting and display infrastructures.

The LightBridge installation is made up of a 10,000 pixel display activated by a variety of sensors including proximity sensors, cameras, buttons, mobile phones, and microphones. The work also allowed for community participation by having people visit a website and design their own interactive light effects in advance and then experience the designs during its opening days.

4) Waves

Image: Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts is a new media artist specializing in real-time video performance and is currently the founder of MPG a Mobile Performance Group. This specific piece called 'Waves' responds to the current size and timing of the changing conditions of the sea. Every half hour the current ocean buoy station data from the nearest location to the installation is downloaded and the data is transformed into a low frequency sound wave. As the size and timing of the waves in the ocean changes so does the frequency of the sound waves which are made to shake a bowl of water sitting on top of a speaker and then projected onto a nearby wall.

View a video of the project in action here.

Learn more about Matt's work here.

5) Aristotle's Office

Image: Hollington & Kyprianou

Created by Tom Keene and Kypros Kyprianou Aristotle's Office is an installation where a group of 9 objects can can be connected by the user (in pairs) through a patch-bay. Once connected, the objects begin to talk to each other and negotiate who's in charge. Each of the objects (which include a light, a fan, a filing cabinet, and an office plant) has the ability to detect changes in the physical status of the objects they are plugged into, and, using simple rules, react accordingly to what is happening around them. The project seeks to ask questions like; How will the office plant respond to the advances of the fan? How does a water-cooler behave with an office light? and overall seeks to understand how our relationship with our objects will evolve as they slowly begin to talk in this coming age of the Internet of Things.

View more work by Tom and Kypros here.

6) Immaterials

Image: Touch Project & BERG

The Immaterials project was created by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, and Jack Schulze from BERG and is part of the larger research initiative Touch that investigates and develops applications that enable people to interact with everyday objects and situations through new technology. The team has so far put their focus on engaging RFID, NFC, and WiFi and although they might not classify themselves as artists these projects suggest otherwise and point ahead to interesting visualizations and engagments with our digital environments.

If you would like to follow in their footsteps you can see how they made their 'light painting' devices over at the Yourban blog.

7) Listening Post

Image: Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen

Created by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin Listening Post is an installation that pulls text fragments in real time from thousands of chat rooms, bulletin boards and other public forums online. The text is then displayed across a suspended grid of screens and sung or spoken by a voice synthesizer. The art is "a visual and sonic response to the content, magnitude, and immediacy of virtual communication."

View more of Ben's work here.

8) Sensity

Image: Stanza

The British artist Stanza uses environmental sensors measuring, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature that are scattered all over the museum and in the surrounding city to make visualisations and sonifications in the gallery and demonstrate the current 'emotional' state of the city. With Sensity 'Instead of adopting narrative threads from other media, I am interested in the currency that exists already in the city space. These works are focused on the wider picture of city experiences which are being played out in real time.'

View more of his work here

9) Green Cloud

Image: HeHe and Antti Ahonen

HeHe is a Paris based art and design studio by Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen and their project "Nuage Vert" or 'Green Cloud' is using a city-scale light installation to alter perceptions on pollution and increase participation among the cities local population.

One of their projections takes place near Ruoholahti in central Helsinki. The Green Cloud uses the chimney emissions of the Salmisaari power plant which can be seen for miles as a canvas. A high power laser beam illuminates the plume at night with the size of the projection being determined based on the current energy usage of the local community.

A video of the project can be seen here:

See more of their work here.

10) Tele-Present Water

Image: David Bowen

David Bowen's Tele-Present Water installation draws information from the movement and intensity of the water in real-time from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data buoy station 46075 in the Shumagin Islands, Alaska. It then displays this information on the mechanical grid structure in the gallery through the use of an Arduino mega running servo firmata and using an 11 x 24 volt dc motor with drivers.

View some of David's other networked projects here.