Monday, February 15, 2010

Greyworld: artwork in public spaces

Trace, Hampton Court Gardens

Trace is a permanent sound installation for the historic maze at Hampton Court Palace. As visitors pass through the maze they trigger a series of sounds that capture the intrigue and mystery of the maze's rich heritage.

Visitors to the installation space are requested to think of a word. Any word at all. They are handed a white cube, which they hold. As they speak their word in to the box, the box begins to glow with a gentle blue light.

They are then invited to explore what appears to be a large empty space, delineated by a red line around its edges. As they wander off in to this area they realise that in fact, invisible to the eye, there is a rich sonic environment to explore, full of words that are nestling amongst trees, flitting around pools of water, or hiding out in caves.

Some of these words live here permanently, and some have been dropped by people walking through the space. If the visitor wants to do this, they simply tip over their box, the light drains away, and their word falls out, living in that area for several hours, for others to discover.. When they are done, they return the box, to be filled by another word.

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