Skywriter invites you to publicly but anonymously externalise any unanswered questions, secret messages or private thoughts by translating text messages into bursts of smoke, and writing them into the sky above Nottingham Playhouse.

Digital communication is becoming increasingly performed; we take pains over every word in the knowledge that even the most fleeting message will linger as an eternal and defining portion of our online identity. At the same time, these social interactions are forensically analysed by autonomous algorithms and artificial intelligences that extrapolate and redefine our public personas.

In contrast, Skywriter offers a way to ask questions or air thoughts that people may not be prepared to ask openly, and in doing so questions how we might begin to imagine communication systems that are slow in their response, ambiguous in their communication of meaning and that reconnect us with our immediate surroundings.

Skywriter will translate a message every 20 minutes between these times during the exhibition:

Monday – Friday: 6pm – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday: 1pm – 2.30pm and 6pm – 8pm
Private view: Thursday 24th May, 6-9pm

Go along to Nottingham Playhouse to find out the number and to see your message turned into smoke!


Commissioned by The Cutting Room as part of the new digital arts programme Digital Stage at Nottingham Playhouse.