Oct 19, 2010

Public Space Project Proposal

In observing the use of the space, we were interested in the idea that after a certain vertical point, the majority of the bridge is physically unused, though still essential for structural purposes. We were enamored of the idea of using this structural space – especially the steel cables – as a location of engagement and interaction.


As we were especially excited about the subtle sounds of the bridge, we have been discussing the idea of coupling a sound input source like an enhanced contact microphone to these cables, allowing people to amplify and become aware of the constant vibrations that all the elements of the bridge – pedestrians, bikers, automobile traffic, wind, weather – are creating. We would like to do some tests involving attaching microphones to the bridge cables with magnets, allowing them to be moved around and giving the impression that one is “playing” the bridge like a musical instrument. We’re also interested in the idea of using small vibrating motors, also on magnets, so that a group of people could interact by “playing” for each other. The sound created would therefore be a vertical connection through the bridge, which is not usually accessible: the traffic below would be creating the most significant vibration, the people on the pedestrian level could make smaller-scale changes, and the entire thing would be enacted by the vibration of the cables above.

The cables of the bridge:


Another theme that we were very interested in was the presence of photography on the bridge. Since so many people are taking pictures, it’s interesting to wonder what the composite view of everyone’s photos must be, or whether people can relate to each other through their photos. We were also interested in the play between light and shadows that the cables create – perhaps we could have some kind of visual puzzle where passersby need to interact with each other to merge different photographs or create a certain outcome. We’ve also been discussing using these ideas of light and photography to trigger the sound piece as described above; the motors could start vibrating at a certain time of day when the sun is shining, or could react to the flash of a camera.


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