The Storm

ITHACA

United Kingdom
The Placemaking Special Commendation Award

The Storm is an audio reactive light installation exploring LED diffusion, elemental shapes and soundscapes. Sixteen feet of cloud covering billows from ceiling to floor, concealing over 6,000 individually programmed LEDs. It premiered in April 2016 in the eerie subterranean surroundings of the old police cells underneath Brighton Town Hall - built in 1832, condemned in 1929 and now preserved as a museum. We had been working with LED light in a variety of indoor and outdoor installations and became increasingly interested in the effects produced when you diffuse them. The dilapidated sub-basement rooms presented a dark and atmospheric setting perfect for experimenting with diffused light and sound design, despite the limitations of power and space. We created a circular wooden frame from which were suspended strips of individually addressable LED lights, made to our own specification and divided up into sections to create interesting shapes and spaces. This ‘skeleton’ of light was draped with sheets of wadding fabric and then built up into billowing clouds with pillow stuffing, painstakingly modelled by hand. The final work was shown on 29th April 2016 as the finale of a sold out exhibition, in which the audience travelled down into the depths of the building through a curated immersive environment. The Storm was later featured at the October 2016 LightPool Festival in Blackpool alongside works from artists including Yoko Ono and Bob and Roberta Smith, and was shortlisted for a darc Architectural Award for Best Light Art.

Lighting: 6,300 RGB LEDs in a custom specification strip based on WS2811
Software: A bespoke video to SPI set-up configured by Ithaca

 

The Storm