Frequency 2021 Programme

Digital Atmosphere

A person wearing virtual reality goggles reaches in front of them to touch a stream of blue bubbles flowing through a box with a hole in it.


Digital Atmosphere – Studio Above&Below

Date: Friday 29 – Saturday 30 October

Time: 12-8pm

Location: Exchange Square, Cornhill Quarter

The quality of our air is invisible to the naked eye, but not to our lungs. At a time when air safety is at the front and centre, this Mixed Reality sculpture uses cutting-edge technology to show us what we’re breathing.

The sculpture is inspired by investigations into early air pollution devices, from the canary in the mine onwards. It has an Atmo Sensor which picks up the invisible changes in the air quality around it. This data is then translated by the artists into an evocative audio-visual simulation, visible only via a VR headset.

Digital Atmosphere is part of Studio Above&Below’s ongoing series of artworks that use live data, VR and Augmented Reality to create living, breathing and reactive virtual sculptures. They use speculative storytelling and digital art to highlight the hidden connections between humans, machines and the environment – like air pollution.

Digital Atmosphere is the result of Studio Above&Below’s latest 12-month research and development commission by Broadway’s Near Now Fellowship programme in Nottingham, UK.

The development of the work is supported by Digital Democracies, a two-year programme led by Threshold Studios and supported by Arts Council England. Digital Democracies connects three UK-based commissioning festivals, Frequency International Festival of Digital Culture (Produced by Threshold Studios), Freedom Festival (Produced by Freedom Festival Arts Trust) and Brighton Digital Festival (Directed by Lighthouse) to explore the intersection of technology, art and public space.

About the Artists

Studio Above&Below is a London based art and technology practice founded by Daria Jelonek (GER) and Perry-James Sugden (UK) after graduating from the Royal College of Art. They have created ground-breaking artworks using immersive technologies such as AR and XR. They use live data inputs in order to make the invisible visible and give our environment a voice to express itself.

The duo’s work has been exhibited internationally at institutions such as the Royal Academy, Tate Modern, V&A London, Photophore during the Venice Biennale, Today Art Museum, WRO Biennale, HEK Basel, SONAR+D, WIRED Japan and NRW Forum.

Twitter – @s_aboveandbelow

Instagram – @studioaboveandbelow