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Arts Funding Breakout


Brief: To design a short motion graphic that maps, depicts or contrasts some statistical information so that it surprises and challenges how we might think about it.

Solution: I used the 1976 Atari video game ‘Breakout’ as a vessel to visualise my data, because, firstly I feel that the blocks of colour in the game lend themselves to representing sets of data similar to a bar chart and the score a way of accurately adding accurate numerical data, but bricks could be destroyed by the ball as arts funding cuts data is represented to add a sense of drama. Secondly and rather interestingly when researching more about the history of the game I discovered it was designed by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers when he and Steve Jobs worked for Atari, as a twist on the game ‘Pong’ which he also designed for the company. However, Atari paid Jobs for the game and he wasn’t open or honest with Wozniak about how much he got paid. He took the money and used it to buy a farm in Oregon. ‘Breakout’, therefore symbolises un-transparency and mistrust, which, represents how galleries who rely on public funding may feel towards the government bureaucracy, that challenges them to justify their funding annually.