Watch Sound Hear Light Play

Submitted by Jack Wates

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Client: The Brighton Digital Festival

Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $4,000

Project Team

Artist

Jack Wates

Artist

Thomas Blackburn

Other

Brighton Digital Festival

Brighton Digital Festival

Other

The Onca Gallery

The Onca Gallery

Overview

Watch Sound Hear Light Play was an immersive, multi-sensory installation in which physical interaction with large, tactile elastic strings would produce sound and light. The installation occupied a space of 5m(l) x 2.5m(w) x 2.5m(h) and was constructed from timber, elastic strings, contact microphones and sound and light equipment.

Goals

The commission was for a temporary project to transform the Onca Gallery space in Brighton into a playscape of sound and light for the duration of the festival. This meant transforming what was traditionally a quiet, light space into a more noisy, dark space. Our main challenge was in working with the unpredictable nature of multiple people interacting simultaneously and our goal was to design the work to avoid the space becoming cacophonous. Another goal in installing within this space, which is quite long and narrow, was to configure the installation to draw people through it while maintaining clear escape routes to the side.

Process

The project was commissioned by the Brighton Digital Festival and hosted by the Onca gallery. It was produced as a collaboration between Jack Wates and Thomas Blackburn. Jack was responsible for the installation design and hardware while Tom focused on the software and programming. The work invited a range of interactions and it was the way that people played it that became a spectacle in itself. People could pluck, scratch or entangled themselves to produce sound and light in the space, and as such, participants had agency in bringing the work to life.