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Posted Thursday, 26 May 2011

Jaaga Sound & Lights

The Sound & Lights exhibition at Richmond Town has been open almost a week now. I took some shots last night to share, and to give a sense of the show for those who can't be here.

The view from outside Jaaga
The view from outside Jaaga

From the outside you can see work by Tobias Rosenberger (the two video panels) and Pooja Mallya (the kinetic 'nest' at the top). This is the work that draws in passers-by and local residents who may not have been previously connected to Jaaga - it's clearly visible from the Hockey Stadium and up and down Rhenius Street.

Eve Sibley's permanent installation, the Vertical Garden is as always on display on the front and side of the building. The plants are watered automatically by a custom-designed hydroponics system periodically throughout the day.

Inside we have work from eight Indian and international artists, and a number of other contributors. The show is open from 6.30PM until 10PM every night until the final night on the 29th of May.

The work is sonic, visual, kinetic, and electronic, very much in keeping with the themes at Jaaga. At the end of the show the building will be torn down! ...and recreated in it's new home at Double Road.

Lisa Kori-Chung 'Jaagaad'
Lisa Kori-Chung 'Jaagaad'

Lisa Kori-Chung has created a reactive sound installation out of discarded electronic components. As you spin the wheels, glitchy but tonal sounds are generated. The piece is pure hardware electronics, with no software intervention.

Andrew McWilliams 'Gravity'
Andrew McWilliams 'Gravity'

My work, Gravity, is a three-panel sound and video installation on the ground floor. The work is self-generating: the sound is continually synthesized with new parameters and the video slowly responds to the sound.

Agnese Mosconi 'Murale'
Agnese Mosconi 'Murale'

Agnese Mosconi has created Murale, a kinetic, responsive installation on the second floor. The flowers respond to your movements by opening and closing, and making noises as you pass by. The piece is modular in the form of a climbing plant, like a parasite.

Corin's workstation for 'Sonosphere-I'
Corin's workstation for 'Sonosphere-I'

Corin Faife composed music and designed a system which allows it to respond according to the movements of people in the building. The mood decisions are based on webcam and sensor data, different combinations of movement in different parts of the building are interpreted according to a mood matrix.

Sharath Chandra 'Prime Actant'
Sharath Chandra 'Prime Actant'

In the video installation 'Prime Actant', by Sharath Chandra, the show itself is self-referenced. It contains media related to the artists and their works, and the webcam incorporates visitors into the installation too.

Tobias Rosenberger 'Figures'
Tobias Rosenberger 'Figures'

Tobias Rosenberger's work video work is visible on two floors, from both inside and outside the Jaaga building.

On the roof there is also a gentle and reflective multichannel sound installation which is a collaboration between Abhijeet Tambe (Lounge Piranha) and Rosenberger. It features words and music loops, and is a popular space to relax and enjoy the evening.

Pooja Mallya 'Cues in the Nest'
Pooja Mallya 'Cues in the Nest'

The 'nest', which hovers above the roof of Jaaga used to be a space for quiet solitary contemplation, served only by a single chair and a view of Shantinagar... until Pooja Mallya turned it into a kinetic light installation! It is now furnished with a carved metal logo, lights, fabric wings and a moving frame.

Power-Up Electronics programmable LED boards
Power-Up Electronics programmable LED boards

The people at Power-Up Electronics have created a number of programmable LED boards, and installed them across the building. Together they slowly drift to different colours and change the mood and visible texture of the Jaaga space.

If you haven't already had a chance to see the show, please head down between now and the final day on Sunday!

Posted Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Jason Bruges Studio

Jason Bruges is a well-known name in the interactive arts & architecture in the UK. Nine years ago he started a studio that:

"create[s] interactive spaces and surfaces that sit between the worlds of architecture, interaction design and site-specific installation art. Our projects range from large-scale building facades and public art to interactive interior environments and products"

There is a whole team (17 credited on the website), producing under this name and they take on a number of large scale commissions in any given year.

Looking through the 2009/2010 work, there seems to a preoccupation with repeating forms, particularly illuminated forms. The form could be LED/OLED's, pandas, glass panels, or so on - but they are always arranged in a simple pattern or series, most commonly a 2 dimensional grid. Each repeated item has the capacity to move or illuminate, but no one form is ever dominant over another in terms of it's abilities or importance. Each form is only different from each of it's peers by virtue of it's location within the space.

This 'equal rights' placement of forms reminds me of the pixels in a computer screen. All have the same capabilities, but and their state at any given moment is a function of their position with respect to all other pixels.

In work like the Platform 5 installation, at Sunderland Station in the UK, this metaphor is almost too indistinct to be called a metaphor. In work like Wind to Light, this metaphor is stretched. Each light is powered by something beyond the control of the installation - the weather. So it's not just responding to the environment - it's life (i.e. it's power source) depends on the environment. Which explains why when I went to see it, there was nothing there! The weather was too calm.

What does hold is the concept of autonomous units, whose potential for contribution to the whole is no more or less than that of each of it's peers. This appears to be one of the calling cards of Bruges work. This article is the first in a series of short written investigations into major studios, and i'm interested to see how commonly i'll find this concept in other work.

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