A one-hundred year old, 35-ton showman's steam engine powers a computer with 1.5 tons of coal. Black lungs inflate every time a database record of miners' lung disease is shown on the computer monitors. It feels like you've been invited into a fun fair, but one where the rides log their own accidents – a fun fair run by people who long ago became indistinct from the machines they maintain.
Over three days at the Discovery Museum, with groups of miner activists, Coal Fired Computers articulates relations between Power, Art and Media. A new work by leading UK media artists Harwood and Yokokoji (YoHa), in collaboration with Jean Demars, it responds to the displacement of coal production to distant lands like India and China after the UK miners' strike in 1984/85.