LEEDS: CITY LIFE CAPTURED IN A DIGITAL PORTRAIT

Leeds daily online conversations are brought to life in stunning new artwork

LEEDS: CITY LIFE CAPTURED IN A 
DIGITAL PORTRAIT

LEEDS: CITY LIFE CAPTURED IN A
DIGITAL PORTRAIT

• Leeds daily online conversations are brought to life in stunning new artwork by Brendan Dawes, commissioned by EE
• Leeds United and Skyfall prove the most talked about topics in Leeds

22nd Jan, 2013. Leeds: From Leeds United to Skyfall, the hot topics that get Leeds 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 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 city over 4320 minutes – three days’ worth of analysis from 29th – 31st October1. This time period represents the day before, during and after the period in which 4G was introduced to Leeds.
The result is a fascinating digital snapshot of life in Leeds 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.
Leeds is football and film mad according to the data analysis. The city’s love for Leeds United is clear for all to see via the dark blue circles regularly dispersed throughout the artwork. The new Bond film Skyfall also caused a considerable stir in Leeds, with the very large purple circles showing just how Bond crazy the city went.
Steven Day, Chief of Brands and Communications, EE commented: “People know a Yorkshire 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 Broadband in Leeds, 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, the activities 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.”

• 57: Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle receiving the artwork – ‘Leeds: A Digital City Portrait’ from the artist Brendan Dawes (left) and John McEvoy from EE on behalf of the city of Leeds. Dawes was commissioned by EE to create this artwork to mark the arrival of 4G in Leeds, one of the first 11 cities in the UK to receive the service. The artwork will hang in the City Museum and will be free for the public to view.
Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle said: “It is fantastic to be able to unveil this unique digital snapshot of Leeds. It is great to see such a modern take on a moment in time from last year from our great city and what people were talking about.”
The key areas 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 artwork will on public display at Leeds City Museum from 22nd January 2013 (entry is free)

For more information on EE, please visit www.ee.co.uk

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