– The Sound/Light Garden

The Sound/Light Garden 

Humans have become more and more detached from nature; particularly children. I love technology but I also worry about how the affects of modern technology, (specifically when being used for learning and entertainment) could have a negative impact on our future. Whilst I believe in the benefits of moderate use I have come to understand that consistent dependance on so called smart devices is becoming a serious issue in todays youth culture. These same youths are going to be the next  innovators and protectors of our planet.

I have had the idea of a sound garden for a few years now. I am interested in creating an interactive space to both provoke and engage the viewer. Using Arduino micro controllers, electronics and sensors I want my space to come alive when interacted with. The space has to be inviting and playful reminiscent of the modern technology that children and adults enjoy today whilst also be serious in the message that it is trying to deliver.

I started by gathering old and probably once loved toys from the local charity shop. I wanted items that may have had a history of actually been played with and then discarded.

The first items I got were a sad old rabbit and a mouldy rag doll.  I soaked them in plaster to see how they would turn out. I wanted them to look petrified by time.

Then I found an old toy phone and a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing which I coated with white and gold spray paint. I am don’t feel the gold works. I am imagining these items lighting up as people approach. I am also considering using UV paint.

Playing around with the idea of using UV

I am interested in making the space feel a bit futuristic and forensic. I like the idea of using plain white and invisible uv paint to create hidden text or childrens’ finger prints within the installation that will be lit up as the viewer approaches using uv LEDs.

Arduino and Electronics

I have only played around with the Arduino board so again I am trying to learn a new language for my art.  I am finding this difficult and extremely frustrating however I am also enjoying it as I love being able to make things work. I have taken part in a few workshops this year to help refresh my memory from the first years workshops of my BA. I am hoping to use either Infrared sensors/Ultrasonic Sensors, Sound Shields, Touch Sensitive Sensors, UV Leds and Arduino Nano as stand alone micro controllers. I am a bit worried that I have bitten off more than I can chew with this one.


Bronze Casting

At a part of the space will incorporate bronze cast pieces I have had to learn how to cast bronze.  Really exciting but long process.