In The Air, Tonight

Submitted by Dave Colangelo

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Client: Ryerson University

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team

Artist

Dave Colangelo

Patricio Davila and Dave Colangelo

Artist

Patricio Davila

Patricio Davila and Dave Colangelo

Overview

Every evening, from February 5, 2014 – March 5, 2014, the LED façade of the Ryerson Image Centre was animated by a blue wave representing wind speed and direction while an intermittent red pulse was triggered by fluctuations in the use of the hashtag #homelessness on Twitter. By visiting intheairtonight.org people could read and retweet messages from the (@itat2014) Twitter feed or compose their own. Every message with the hashtag #homelessness amplified the issue online and contributed to a colour change on the building.

Goals

The Ryerson Image Arts building happens to be in the middle of the highest concentration of homeless shelters and drop-in centres in Canada. This installation used this fact as the basis for the justification for performing a public visualization of data related to homelessness, drawing attention to the issue and amplifying it through a spectacular display.

Process

We worked closely with graphic designer and documentary film maker Maggie Chan and designer Robert Tu to create the website and animations required for the installation.