From May to October of 2017, independent data collector and casual observer Stuart Farnsworth undertook a three-question Nonsensus within the Newport neighbourhood of Maindee in order to uncover the area’s subjective truth. Long since conundrummed by prevailing notions of fake news, alternative facts and much other post-truth guff fluff, Farnsworth spent five months knocking Maindee’s front doors, asking residents questions such as, “How would you fix the world?”, “When were you happiest?” and “What is your favourite noise?”
Farnsworth’s findings were published as Raw Data Sic – The Complete Nonsensus Transcriptions. The publication was distributed back to the contributing Maindee residents as well as five local artists who were invited to creatively respond to the findings. These creative responses formed the basis of The Office For Notional Statistics: The Nonsensus Exhibition in Maindee Library.
The publication Raw Data Sic also formed the basis for an opera, Nonsensus, produced in collaboration with Rhian Hutchings of Newport-based company Operasonic and Bristol-based composer Richard Barnard. The opera was performed at Maindee Library in July and will feature at the opera festival Tete A Tete in London in August.
Nonsensus was financed by Arts Council Wales and the Maindee New Paths programme.