Mood Pinball

Ben Neal and Edie Jo Murray and Harmeet Chagger-Khan 2019

What’s your city sweet-spot? Mood Pinball playfully reimagines how city-wide data might be used by an individual to find their comfort zones, and improve their experience of a city. It invites us on a sonic journey through the dreamlike city-scape of neurodiverse artist Edie Jo Murray. The otherworldly qualities of her highly stylised graphics and rich saturated colours are based on her experience that autistic people can “feel like aliens”. For Edie, her sensitivity to noise – which has an impact on how well she feels at different city locations – is part of this. The goal of Mood Pinball is to keep its Mood-o-Meter at ‘happy’, by responding to noise-level data revealed by gameplay. Accessing data about noise levels in public spaces is difficult, so the data in this artwork has been synthesised by computer scientists at Southampton University. Mood Pinball acts as a reminder that citizens, as well as businesses, need to use information and data to better understand the world and improve people’s lives.

Mood Pinball was created following a series of workshops for autistic and neurodiverse people at BOM in Birmingham in 2018. We are grateful to the participants, who wish to remain anonymous, for their insights.

Prior to being part of Copy That? at the ODI from February 2020 Mood Pinball can be seen in Birmingham at Hacked! Games Re-designed 13 September to 21 December 2019, at Birmingham Open Media 1 Dudley Street, Birmingham, B5 4EG  @BOMlab

Commissioned by ODI Data as Culture in partnership with the University of Southampton Data Stories project, supported by the EPSRC, grant number EP/PO25676/1. Produced by BOM centre for art, technology and science, Birmingham.


Digital pinball machine with custom software and bespoke graphics on wooden frame


Copy That? Surplus Data in an Age of Repetitive Duplication
Feb 2020 – Dec 2020 at the Open Data Institute

Data Types

Geospatial, Identifiable, Object, Open, Retrieved, Social, State

About the Artists

Ben Neal (UK) is a creative technologist, performer, musician, artist and educator. His work often uses audio-visual and digital technology to create bespoke electronic gadgets, interactive art, musical instruments, virtual content and games. He is part…
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Edie Jo Murray (UK) is a West Midlands-based digital artist who focuses on exploring the subjectivity of reality from a neurodivergent perspective. Her practice includes virtual and augmented reality installations and computer generated imagery, used to…
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Harmeet Chagger-Khan (UK) is an artist and filmmaker producing site specific projects with a diverse range of individuals to harness their polymathic qualities and create subtle behaviour change within communities, organisations and cities. As a BOM…
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