Cardiff: City Life Captured in a Digital Portrait

Share Article

Cardiff’s daily online conversations are brought to life in stunning new artwork by Brendan Dawes, commissioned by EE. Hitachi jobs and the weather prove to be the most talked about topics in Cardiff.

From Strictly to Skyfall and Hitachi jobs boost to the weather, the hot topics that get Cardiff talking online have been captured for the first time ever in a unique digital portrait of the city created by world renowned digital artist, Brendan Dawes.

Commissioned by EE to mark the of arrival 4G mobile
in the city, Dawes worked closely with the data analysis team at University College London (UCL), capturing the social media conversations and topics trending across the region over the three day period from 29th – 31st October1.

The result is a fascinating digital snapshot of life in Cardiff in 2012. Dawes and UCL worked within the categories of sport, politics, film, music, TV, educational, culture and weather – aiming to dig deeper into the topics that affect how people communicate in the city and what they talk about when they go online.

Each chosen topic and the hundreds of thousands of digital conversations associated with them are represented by a specific colour coded keyword. From the keywords at the bottom of the artwork a series of lines flare out to form a myriad of coloured interlinked circles. The thickness of the lines and the size and brightness of the circles respresent the popularity of each topic and the frequency at which people were speaking about them.

The weather was the hot topic over the monitored period, represented in the artwork by the colour blue. The huge explosions on the visual represents anyone talking about the weather, showing how obsessed the city was about the subject.

Another topic which is reflected in the artwork is the announcement that Japanese company Hitachi are to create 7,000 jobs during the monitoring period – represented by huge explosions of the colour red across the artwork.

Steven Day, Chief of Brands and Communications, EE commented: “People know the Welsh accent as soon as they hear it. Now, for the first time, we’ve discovered what it actually looks like. EE has launched superfast mobile 4G and Fibre Optic Broadband in Cardiff, and we wanted to mark this in a visual way that everyone in the city can relate to and enjoy.”

Brendan Dawes said: “It is the people and the activities within it - work, play and the connections within that define a city. This design is a modern sophisticated response to the representation of a city - formed from millions of bits of data as people talk and interact about the biggest events of the day. The shape, derived from nature, evoking the organic nature of a network softens the often harsh representation of digital, leaving instead an impression of a modern dynamic system, that we call cities, in the 21st century.”

The key areas that the research focused on during the research period were :

  • New York
  • X Factor
  • Skyfall
  • Pride of Britain Awards
  • 4G
  • Money
  • MPs
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Happiness
  • Weather

The Cardiff piece will be displayed free to the public at St David’s Hall from 19th December

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Customer Services
0800 037 4848
Email >
Visit website