Invisible Airs

YoHa 2011

In 2011, YoHa, assisted by Stephen Fortune, attempted to read the 20,000 comma-separated lines of the apparently open Bristol City Council expenditure database. Concluding that power revealed itself through multiple layers of boredom, they decided that the best way to reveal the relations contained within the databases to the people affected by it would be to construct four contraptions which would enable visitors to: Test their aim with the Expenditure Filled Spud Gun; Balance the books with the Open Data Book Stabber; Polish the floor with an Older People Pneumatic Brusher; and, Grab the civic reins with the Public Expenditure Riding Machine. Originally operated by linking them to computers analyzing entries in the expenditure database, any expense over £500 caused the contraptions to rise, stab, shoot and brush in a series of seemingly meaningless actions. Presented at the ODI and Lighthouse are the Open Data Book Stabber, the Public Expenditure Riding Machine, the Expenditure Filled Spud Gun, as well as the Invisible Airs documentary by Alistair Oldham.


Pneumatic contraptions, air compressor, internet connection, bespoke software, Arduino


Data as Culture 2014
March 2014 – February 2015 at the Open Data Institute

Data Types

Metadata, Open, State, Static, Unknown

About the Artist

Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji (YoHa translates to English as ‘aftermath’) have lived and worked together since 1994. YoHa’s graphic vision and technical tinkering has powered several celebrated collaborations establishing an international reputation for pioneering arts…
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