Voices of Innovators in the MaRS Lobby – Week 5

Facing South.

We are developing an interactive sound installation for the MaRS building north entrance that will explore the theme of innovation in community and potentially bring innovators together. The installation will consist of multiple voices collected through interviews with innovations, some or all of whom will come from MaRS centre residents themselves.

We are revisiting our original Wings of Desire concept in which a participant can either hear the voices of individuals or the harmonies and cacophony of the many depending on where they are standing.

Our installation will encourage participants to discover the meaning of the voices by moving through the circular space of the North Entrance Lobby of MaRS.

One potential arrangement of our installation in the lobby.

In the diagram above you see multiple voices coming from speakers along the edge of the circle. These voices meet in the middle creating a cacophony or confusion of voices. Nodal points (dotted lines) are points of harmony and intersection, perhaps where common themes are found in the voices of the speakers.

People entering the MaRS building may serendipitously encounter these voices as they move through the lobby. They may choose to linger and discover more of the sound nodes in the middle space or move to the edges and listen to individual voices.

Encouraging Collaboration: We may also offer a paper list of interviewees with contact information along with our artist statement.

Current Goals:
Create a sacred space in a public space
Encourage participation through discovery
Use silence, cacophony, harmony and singular voices as symbols for different states of a community
‘What is the meaning of the journey in a space?’ – We will investigate the history of the lobby and MaRS building. Why was the lobby designed this way in the current building? What other kinds of architecture share this structure. What kind of sound is made for this kind of space? i.e String Quartet (referencing David Byrne, Siobhan forwarded link)

Changes from Crit 3:
We are not using the labyrinth as a model.

Questions for Crit:
We need to refine our problem and audience. Should we be exploring the discover process in our installation or encouraging collaboration among MaRS tenants?

Project Description – Week 2

1. Mantras and latest project description

Design Mantra: Creating spaces for self-reflection and the reinvigouration of our dreams.
Statement of Excitement: Creating an oasis in the heart of the city where wishes come to play.
Mission Statement: We are a design team that creates spaces for private reflection and rest in the middle of busy public places.
Possible name: Reflecting Pool

Description:A circular wishing well (fountain/pool) surrounded by a low seating area where weary travellers and shoppers can sit, meet each other and listen to the background sound of voices whispering, ‘I wish, I wish’.

Participants can make a spoken wish then throw a coin in the well. If they do their wish will be echoed back, followed by the wishes left by earlier visitors. This collage of human wishing and wanting plays for an interval before returning to the, “I wish, I wish” mantra.

An angel statue outside the well offer pennies in its outstretched hands.

2. WOZ concept To be presented.

3. Audience and Location
We are making this wish well for people in busy public spaces such as

  • transportation hubs
  • hospitals
  • shopping centres

We’re considering 3 corresponding locations for our installation such as:

  • Union Station
  • St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Eaton Centre

We’re looking for feedback on:

  • Which locations might work best
  • Contacts at these locations
  • What we should be creating for our InterAccess soft launch considering our intention is to install our well eventually in a busy public (non-gallery) space.

4. Advice we want from crit team:

  1. Are there similar projects to this Reflecting/Wishing Well?
  2. How could we make the wish recording and coin throwing experience seamless and intuitive?
  3. How can we invite participants to make a wish (voice invitation? text?)
  4. How can we use audio techniques, such as white noise or noise cancellation, to make our space a haven of quiet calm?
  5. What issues should we be aware of when working with water and electricity?
  6. What do you think of using water in the pool/well an additional interface – i.e. fingers trailing in water active some audio?