Unruly Pitch

In Manchester National Football Museum as part of the Out of Play: Football and Technology exhibition
Friday 19th June 2015 – September 30, 2015
Collaboration with Jen Southern, Chris Speed and Chris Barker
Edinburgh, Scotland 2015

Featured at the National Football Museum as part of the Out of Play: Football and Technology exhibition, I collaborated with the Artist Jen Southern, Prof. Chris Speed and programmer Chris Barker to create the piece Unruly Pitch which digitally maps one of England’s last remaining mob-football games.

This project aimed to track and visualise the movement of six players in the annual Uppies and Downies mass football game in Workington. One of the last remaining football games of its kind, the match is played throughout the town centre in an unpredictable game without rules. Using small GPS devices to track the movement of 6 players (only 5 recorded GPS data), the visualisations will reveal some aspects of the game and in particular the irregularity of the pitch.

The final project is composed of 3 different pieces. A printed ‘map’, a replica of the ball engraved with the tracks, and a video drawing the game dynamically with footage in the background. Each of the three pieces convey a different dimension of the game. The map, recalling survey maps, is intend to describe the ‘pitch’. It is a visualisation of the ‘objective data’. Moreover, it gives a reflection of the game from the players internal point of view thanks to the ‘hidden’ interview based text. The video gives an immersive and dynamic vision of the action. However it is also an outside point a view as it is filmed not by a player but a spectator. The ball represents the symbolic aspect of the game, perceived as the ‘Graal’ by the players.