Oscillation

Submitted by Creos

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Client

Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Alexandre Lemieux

Creos

Creator

Ryan Swanson

The Urban Conga

Overview

Giant crystals that come alive through movement
Oscillation is an interactive installation that uses sight, sound, and movement to spark community activity and social interaction through play.
The installation acts somewhat like a theremin, an unusual musical instrument that you can play without touching it. As you walk toward the piece, it plays different sounds and pitches depending on your distance from it. And as you move and dance around it, colors reflect and refract light in different ways based on your angle and position.
Oscillation is made up of five parts that are deconstructed from a solid cube using a Voronoi algorithm. The crystal-like forms can be moved around and placed in a variety of formations. The result is totally immersive experience that breaks down social barriers and fuels joyful conversations between strangers.

Goals

The crystal-like forms appear as if they are growing from the ground creating an immediate visual attraction. The forms are created using a Voronoi algorithm which deconstructs a solid cube into sections that are placed throughout the space. This connected relationship between the pieces creates a cohesive environment even though the pieces are spread apart. As one begins to walk closer to the pieces a sound begins to resonate that changes pitch as the person moves around the piece. This theremin-like interaction will allow the user to create their own sounds and music with the installation as their instrument. The piece then becomes not only something great to look at and take selfies in front of but also a hub for community activity that begins to spark spontaneous conversation between strangers. The playability of the piece begins to break down social barriers and get people to physically engage with one another in a once underutilized space. As Plato once said "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation," and these are the moments we pushed to create with "Oscillation."

Process

The Urban Conga is a multidisciplinary design firm promoting community activity and social interaction through open ended play. They achieve this by creating interactive installations and environments that spark creativity, exploration and free choice learning into the
built environment.
After successfully presenting Oscillation in Grand Rapids and Clearwater (USA), the Urban Conga have decided continuing contributing in energizing other public spaces around the world by partnering with Creos, a world leading agency for public interactive installations in urban spaces. Since the beginning of this partnership in 2019, Oscillation has been presented at Winterlude (ByWard Market), Ottawa, CAN, in Downtown New York (New York City Downtown Alliance), USA, in Montreal’s Quartier Latin, CAN, and many new destinations are planned for 2021-2022.