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08 Mar-11 Apr 2007

A carnival performance and public forum that uses participatory sensing and media scavenging to make a stand about climate change.

Project introduction

‘Snout’ is a new collaboration between inIVA, Proboscis and researchers from Birkbeck College, exploring relationships between the body, community and the environment.

A public forum on ‘participatory sensing and media scavenging’ will be held on Tuesday, April 10th to demonstrate the ‘Snout’ wearables, discuss evidence collecting for environmental action and how communities can reflect on the personal impact of pollution and the environment. The forum, led by Giles Lane (Proboscis) and Dr George Roussos (Birkbeck) will look at ‘participatory sensing’ as a form of social engagement. The forum will share tactics on how to ‘scavenge’ free online services and resources, as well as exploring the relationship between information, aesthetics and design and how to make these ideas and issues accessible to more people.

About the project

Snout builds on our previous collaboration, Feral Robots, (with Natalie Jeremijenko) to investigate how data can be collected from environmental sensors as part of popular social and cultural activities.

Scavenging free online mapping and sharing technologies as a form of ‘guerilla public authoring’, the project also explores how communities can gather and visualise evidence about local environmental conditions and how that information can be used to participate in or initiate local action. ‘Snout’ will create two prototype sensor wearables based on traditional carnival costumes. Carnival is a time of suspension of the normal activities of everyday life – a time when the fool becomes king for a day, when social hierarchies are inverted, a time when everyone is equal. There is no audience at a carnival, only carnival-goers. Snout proposes ‘participatory sensing’ as a lively addition to the popular artform of carnival costume design, engaging the community in an investigation of its own environment, something usually done by local authorities and state agencies.


‘Snout’ is a collaboration between inIVA, Proboscis and Birkbeck College’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, supported by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


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