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October 30, 2004



"first aid for urban spaces"

Andrem Shoban founded Greyworld in 1993 in Paris, then 2 years later they went back to London where they still have their studio. They do interactive urban art for the "people who buy cans of beans," not for the elite. Their installations try to involve the public as much as possible. In 2002, they created the ColourStops installation for five bus stops in Bradford, UK: in the bus stop shelters, Greyworld concealed color-recognition cameras that create sounds according to the colours they detect. The work tries to reflect back the variety of differences in people, Bradford being a very multi-ethnic city.

Three years ago, on the Millennium Footbridge in Dublin, they inserted sensors in the carpet covering the bridge to detect the size of feet, and the speed of your walk; according to these data, different sounds are generated so that you can walk to the sound of music or hear the sound of crunchy leaves or snow or the flop flop of water.

See also The Source that opens and closes the London Stock Exchange since April 2004.

The group is now working on Bins and Benches (flash presentation) to be installed in The Junction (London). This urban furniture is able to roam free in the Piazza area.

The benches love to be sat on, and they often take up position in new spaces to make themselves more attractive to potential human sitters. Sometimes, when it rains, they move themselves to drier, shadier areas of the square. To attract potential human sitting folk, they like to form patterns - the benches moving in to shapes in the centre of the piazza.

The bins are a little more solitary. It's a tough life being a bin, and they like to contemplate their humble lot on their own.

When the mood takes them, the surniture like to burst in to song. Sometimes, small clusters gather together and sing a tight six-part harmony, and occasionally, though much more rarely due to their shyness, the bins join in with their sweet soprano voices.

Each bench drifts slowly around the square, no faster than a strolling human, and is equipped with sensors that detect the presence of objects in its immediate vicinity, coming to a complete halt when any object is coming close. Via near near future

Posted by jo at October 30, 2004 11:47 AM


I'm just back from Barcelona where I met the founder of Greyworld and it really is a good surprise to see that networked_performance took the story. Thanks for Greyworld too. They have made so many exciting projects, I just blogged some of them, a bit at random as I couldn't choose.

Posted by: regine at October 31, 2004 01:10 PM


Posted by: taey at December 28, 2004 11:40 AM