In January 2010 the Cologne based design agencies Grosse8 and Lichtfront presented their cross-media installation titled Augmented Sculpture. The core of the installation is a 2.5m tall wooden form that builds the screen for a 360° projection.
In constant transformation over a score by Jon Hopkins, the 2:32 minute performance is described by Svenja Kubler of Lichtfront as a “mirror of changing realities… a kind of real virtuality arises to confront virtual reality.” I’m not sure what that all means but I really like it.
By far one of the most interesting urban screens project I’ve seen to date, Chris O’Shea‘s describes his public art “Hand From Above” as encouraging “us to question our normal routine when we often find ourselves rushing from one destination to another.”
“Inspired by Land of the Giants and Goliath, we are reminded of mythical stories by mischievously unleashing a giant hand from the BBC Big Screen. Passers by will be playfully transformed. What if humans weren’t on top of the food chain? Unsuspecting pedestrians will be tickled, stretched, flicked or removed entirely in real-time by a giant deity.” Hands from Above was built using openFrameworks & openCV.
Tetsuro Nagata, a recent graduate of the Bartlett’s Interactive Architecture Workshop, has created a series of pedagogic installations Inspired by Frances Yates’ “Art of Memory”, exploring physical manifestation of various concepts of memory. The final installation “Computing an Identity” is a Memory Theatre (a reference to Giulio Camillo’s Renaissance masterpiece), which uses delayed images of the self to question the observer’s own memory.
The installation is a processional experience, beginning with a spotlight that initially appears to display your shadow. The shadow then begins to delay questioning the observer’s perception of things that we take for granted. If the observer stays still, his shadow is merged into one of a previous occupant of the space.
The procession moves on towards a delayed mirror, which shortens its delay the closer you get to it. At a certain distance, the reflection becomes clearer, and the observer is able to directly compare their delayed reflection with their real one.
The piece culminates with a ‘rose window’ which captures observers’ faces, and reveals to the individual, his position within the long-term memory of the space. When left alone, the installation begins ‘dreaming’ – reconstructing its previous memories.
The piece instigates a conversation about image, identity and story-telling in a secular world. The individual procession references that of a church; from nave, to altar, and exiting through the West door. Nagata explains that “One of my initial aims was to question where bodily and facial images have gone from contemporary architecture, and as devices that trigger your memory, what their role is in a society obsessed with storing memories in external appliances.”
Above is an image of 1301 fluorescent tubes powered only by the electric fields generated by overhead powerlines. It was created by Richard Box while artist-in-residence at Bristol University’s physics department.
He got the idea for the installation after a chance conversation with a friend. ‘He was telling me he used to play with a fluorescent tube under the pylons by his house,’ says Box. ‘He said it lit up like a light sabre.’ Box decided to see if he could fill a field with tubes lit by powerlines. After a few weeks hunting for a site, he found a field, slipped the local farmer £200 and planted 3,600 square metres with tubes collected from hospitals.
A fluorescent tube glows when an electrical voltage is set up across it. The electric field set up inside the tube excites atoms of mercury gas, making them emit ultraviolet light. This invisible light strikes the phosphor coating on the glass tube, making it glow. Because powerlines are typically 400,000 volts, and Earth is at an electrical potential voltage of zero volts, pylons create electric fields between the cables they carry and the ground.Box denies that he aimed to draw attention to the potential dangers of powerlines, ‘For me, it was just the amazement of taking something that’s invisible and making it visible,’