Data Voice - Kathy Hinde

Photo credit: Simon Webb

Data and me

I’m an artist aiming to bring attention to our relationships with other species and the earth’s systems. When making work, I often play with datasets from environmental monitoring, alongside delving into research around climate and environmental science. Last year, I directed my focus specifically towards ‘data’ and noticed that, even though I explore data as a material through my creative process, I rarely incorporate what might be considered as “datasets” into my final works. Alongside this, I have also greatly expanded my notion of what I might consider as ‘data’. I’m interested in indeterminacy and enjoy working with dynamic, changeable, non-fixed systems. I would like the audience’s experience of my artwork to embody elements of unknowability and I enjoy creating artwork with layers that I don’t fully understand myself, so I can discover more about them over time. I’m interested to find methods to incorporate data with a shapeshifting nature, which is why I also centred my data research around water.


Tipping Point by Kathy Hinde, 2014.

I am sharing this installation in relation to ‘data’ because makes audible shifting water levels by resonating the empty space within a glass vessel through audio feedback. Tipping Point invites us to consider our relationship with water, created using a delicate combination of glass, water, audio feedback and lighting. Glass vessels filled with water are balanced by mechanics and bespoke computer software, which listens to microphone feedback produced by the acoustic qualities of the vessels themselves.

The glasses are arranged in pairs and interconnected, and as one glass fills, the other empties. The quantity of the water inside each glass changes the pitch of the audio feedback and the brightness of the lights inside. When all of the twelve are resonating, a layered, choral texture is created, whereas a solo or duet reveals plaintive rising and falling scales.

Tipping Point forms both a sculptural sound installation and the basis of a live performance in which Kathy Hinde performs by adjusting parameters to balance and unbalance the glass vessels.

Tipping Point is a collaboration with John Rowden at the Scientific Glass Workshop in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol with software designed by Matthew Olden. Tipping Point received an honorary mention for the Prix Ars Electronica Digital Musics and Sound Art Category 2015. A Cryptic commission for Sonica 2014 in association with Cove Park, created on a residency in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol.

Burning question

Can Data be experienced or ‘read’ as unfixed and un-captured… as a dynamic, constantly changing entity, and still provide insights?