Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Speed of Light

The Speed of Light is an installation by United Visual Artists, commissioned by Virgin Media to celebrate 10 years of broadband. I decided to visit this installation because of my growing interest in interactive, installation art. I found their use of lasers appealing and interesting as I thought about using them myself as means to visualise chance encounters between people and some of my intersection ideas about different paths connecting. The exhibition is a spectacle of light, the laser beams create an exciting environment which works in conjunction with sound. As you enter you are prompted to speak into a microphone by a screen asking you different questions, the sound you produce is then looped around the three floors of the exhibition and used to trigger different lights as you hear your own voice echoing around the rooms. This interactive element is very successful and really engages with the visitor, because of this interaction the exhibition is different every time, depending on who visits and what they say, making it a good example of the use of chance elements.

On the third floor the show reaches a crescendo with a laser light show, using four lasers one in each corner of the room. The beams move and dance, crossing paths at varying speeds, suspense and tension is created by the way the visuals work with the sound which is a mixture of voices collected in the first room, live streams from news sites and ambient sounds. The sounds and lights work together to create layers of interest and at times a sense of confusion which I think mimics the confusion that growing communication technology creates. I think the exhibition did very well to visualise the themes of broadband, the internet and communication. In the last room in particular the show worked to conjure ideas about the way people interact across the world and how peoples life interconnect, which is very relevant to my work at the moment. The show has given me inspiration to attempt to tackle an installation myself and well as sparking further ideas for me about the way people communicate and how this links to my ideas about chance.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I have recently discovered the work of Jonathan Harris who is an artist and designer based in New York. His book We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion presents graphic representations of peoples emotional responses, gathered from thousands of blogs from all over the internet. The book collects and quantifies a mass of data from these blogs, presenting: ' a contemporary portrait of the world's emotional landscape, exploring the ups and downs of everyday life in all its colour, chaos, and candor.'

The way he presents this information is clear and concise but also sensitive to the emotional content, a truly inspirational piece of graphic communication for me.

Jonathan Harris

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Saturday, 30 January 2010


I am planning to collect all the stories I have come across during my research for this unit of work and compile a series of short stories on the theme CHANCE//CHAOS//ORDER. This idea is based around Penguins 'Great Ideas' series.
I want the covers to relate to each other and also the overall themes and be presented as a collection in a box. The series will include:

The Lottery in Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges
De Impossibilitate Vitae and De Impossibilitate Prognoscendi by Stanislaw Lem
The Three Princes of Serendip - ancient Persian tale
Short extract from Silence by John Cage
Short Extract from The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

Coincidence Book Layouts