A year of rain
In 1999 Softday was commissioned by the Irish Pavilion at EXPO2000 in Hanover to create Bliain Le Báisteach, a multimedia artwork. The project was also sponsored by the Irish Arts Council and Met Eireann.
We used both data, images and music, trying to show what is going on in our environment. In Bliain Le Báisteach you can experience many different things. The rainfall data is complex and chaotic by nature. Looking at the data just as numbers makes very little sense – endless lists of numbers. One can, of course, create a graph from the data, which gives you a visual diagram with hills and valleys, making more meaning than just the numbers. You can also look and listen to Bliain Le Báisteach on a micro – macro level. The sweeping patterns of weather systems coming in from the Atlantic in the satellite images are like looking at an oil painting at a distance. On the micro level, the rainfall data is like moving closer, looking at the individual brush strokes, although you are not looking at this level – you listen. If we had just made straight sounds or notes of the data, it wouldn’t have sounded very interesting. By devising a neural network trained with traditional Irish music, you get the brush strokes reanimated.