A collaboration by Aileen Drohan and Sinead McDonald for /Glitch Festival 2016

The artwork title, 5715, refers to the number of homeless people in Ireland as of January 2016, according to the Department of the Environment, of which 1830 were children. By April of 2016 those numbers had risen to 6189 and 2121 respectively. Rents are projected to rise a further 12% this year, placing an even greater number of families and individuals at risk. In many places across the country, availability is minimal and stock is priced far above the maximum limits set for Rent Supplement payments. Many families have been forced into emergency accommodation due to soaring rental prices, locking them into a cycle of increasing poverty.

5715 uses Arduino and piezo disks to track this risk. The installation outputs a range of sound frequencies derived from the ratio of the average rental prices for a 3 bedroom family home in each county in Ireland, versus the maximum rental price allowed for a family with three children under the government’s Rent Supplement scheme. This data is outputted to frequencies fed from Arduino microcomputers to 26 wall mounted piezoelectric disks. The result is a range of pitches from just above audible for lower risk areas, to squealing high-pitch where families are most in danger. The cacophony of sounds produced can be difficult to engage with for any length of time. Disturbingly, in no county in Ireland was the average rental price equal to or under the maximum allowed under the scheme.

Piezoelectric disks, wire, Arduinos, mini-amps, galvanised steel wall supports


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