Project proposal

Ignite residency project proposal  

To be shown as part of Somerset Art Weeks (15th September- 30th September 2018)

Inspired by the liquidscape that surrounds Somerset, I propose to create a project which encourages people to access the water. Each day people of Bridgewater drive over bridges and walk along the paths looking down at the River Parrett. With the water a familiar, yet distance face in the community I’d like to create an interactive installation which provides the public with an opportunity to interact with water. This work will act as an agent for discussions which will hopefully help the people of Somerset to build stronger relationships with their waters.

In a town built up with retail shops and residential areas it may be easy to become slightly disconnected from nature. My installation will be inviting people to take off their shoes and socks and place their feet in vessels of water. This is an activity which will seem unusual for some, however the feeling of water on your skin can be liberating.

During my residency I will be spending time with the creative technologist experimenting with software including Isadora, Final Cut Pro, touch boards, Makey Makey and Construct 3 with the aim of creating a physically interactive experience for the viewer. I will also be interviewing Lower Lakes – an outdoor activity facility in Bridgewater- and a Bridgewater based member of the Triathlon training team who offers formal open water training. These interviews will help to give me an insight into Bridgewater’s current relationship with water and the activities it offers.

With up to 12 vessels of water linked to the Makey Makey, when the viewer places their feet in each vessel it will complete a circuit, triggering different sounds and/or visuals. The installation will have a theatrical tone, with props and prompts to guide the viewer through the experience. By creating a program using Construct 3 or Isadora, every few minutes the combination of sounds/visuals produced will alter, making results different for everyone. This reflects true encounters with water, different in each place and moment. In the space, the technical elements will be discreetly built into the design to enhance the element of curiosity and wonder.

I will be using a GoPro and underwater camera to gather field recordings. I intend on collecting recordings from various different waters in Somerset including seas, lakes and waterfalls. The visuals and audio will be used in the installation, being triggered by public interaction with the water. I will be keeping a blog discussing the behaviour of each water, this will be done on WordPress for the public to access if they wish.

The installation will exist in the space as a series of between 6 and 10 vessels holding water (potentially rubber buckets). The Makey Makey and wires will be embedded discreetly underneath a small platform where the buckets will stand. Underneath this platform wires will run from the Makey Makey board to each vessel and be fixed inside. The viewer will then choose their preferred swimming equipment from a choice of arm bands, goggles or rubber ring offered on changing room style pegs in the space. This equipment will be attached to a conductive material to keep the participant grounded during the interaction. When entering the water, sounds will be triggered, these will be played through speakers which are also fitted into the platform.

The above proposal outlines the project at its current status. Due to the exploratory nature of the residency, specific details are subject to change in negotiation with Somerset Film.

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