Daily Events


The conception of public artwork as an interactive and mnemonic entity, rather than being solely an object or sensorial field brought to the surface the philosophical issue of the relationship between the body and the mind. While it was useful to make distinctions between the physical aspects and the interactive aspects of the artwork, in order to conceptualise a logical design methodology, the intent was never to hold on to this dualism. Rather we sought through design development and collaboration to attain a synthesis of concerns in the final design. This integration of conditions also extended into the relationship between the artwork and the landscape design and ultimately between the artwork and the community itself.

In this sense the artwork was considered to be a “being of care”, an embedded and reassuring presence within the community whose character would develop and evolve over time. We imagined how children would grow up with this community presence, how they would interact with it as they grew and how it would both collect and foster memory for the community. In this case the “other’s” configuration could be thought of as a constantly shifting assemblage, whose identity was constructed through community interaction. Ultimately we wished the artwork to dissolve both into the landscape and into the community and in doing so manifest a complex ecology of place.

In order to extend the artworks scope beyond ideas on the nature of memory and connect it wholly with the physical world the team began to interrogate ideas pertaining to the temporal, the durational and the event. We considered the solar, lunar and annual cycles as an enduring rhythmic pulse that defines daily life. We then considered the seasonal and meteorological cycles of nature that are constantly altering atmospheric conditions. The effect of these natural phenomena were counterpointed by a consideration of the cycles of human existence, the daily rituals and routines, the paths and journeys we make each day, the constants and fluctuations in our habits and the accretion of knowledge and experience that we build over time.

While the input stimuli into an interactive artwork’s sensor system would be ongoing it was recognised that its output characteristics should be focussed and concentrated, as a way of giving the artwork a distinct identity. A system was envisaged in which the artwork would gather information over specific time periods and store this input into its memory. These memories could then be called upon to create unique compositions of light, sound and physical sensation at specific times of the day. In this model, the artwork would be constantly offering a different interpretation of its interactions with the outside world and in doing so would imbue a site with different moods and atmospheric qualities each hour of the day and each day of the year.

To manifest these unique atmospheres the team began to identify the specific nature of the physical outputs that the artwork could generate and appreciated their potential to create mood and expression. The integration of programmable lighting with the artworks interactive system promised the ability to add definition and drama to the qualities of a physical form; to subtly shift and pulse, swell, flicker and dissipate; and to create immersive fields that alter our perception of the larger environment. The use of sound offered the potential to capture, through field recordings, the recognisable soundscapes that imperceptibly define the aural characteristics of place. Sound and vibration also have the potential to operate in purely physical ways, to create tonal and frequency based interactions with the human body and to manifest spatial dynamics through the use of multi-speaker arrays. Ultimately the synesthetic union of light, sound and vibration was seen to have the ability to coalesce and create immersive sensorial experiences that intensify our connection to a time and place in sublime and profound ways.