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Invisible airs

Oldham, Alistair; McCormack, Connor


Connor McCormack


The computerized database is fundamentally changing society. From communication, to government, transport, shopping, friendship, health, education, narrative and even the way we watch film, the database is radically transforming our lives. And yet we are only barely aware of its existence, we don't really know what a database is : like electricity, it's pervasive and all around us , but we cannot actually see it.

Digital media artists YOHA set about making the database visible. Working with Bristol City Council in England, they use local government expenditure to explore the relationship between the database, power and expenditure. Turning the pounds sterling of expenditure into the pounds per square inch of pneumatic pressure, they make a suite of engineered mechanical contraptions : a Potato Cannon, an Old People Pneumatic Floor Polisher, an Expenditure Riding Saddle and a Library Book Stabber. But as they tour these contraptions around Bristol, they become embroiled in the more visceral realities of the city, in the form of the Royal Wedding, local anti Tesco riots and the censorship of a local outdoor cinema.

"Invisible Airs" is very much a story of our time, of our obsessions with the virtual world and its uneasy relationship to the physical world that we actually inhabit.


Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts
Bristol Radical Film Festival
Brighton Documentary Festival
Southend, Last Friday Shorts (
Furtherfield, Finsbury Park, London
Globians Documentary Festival, Berlin
Globians Documentary Festival, Halle
Globians Documentary Festival, Schonberg

Digital Artefact Type Video
APA6 Citation Oldham, A., & McCormack, C. Invisible airs
Keywords computers, database, power, expenditure, bristol
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