Augmenting Spatiality was an inter-national sound and light installation that ran the length of narrow Abercrombie Lane.
The artwork consisted of a network of blue catenary light cables, tightly stretched between buildings on either side of the lane. Most of the lights crossed above the laneway at the height of one storey, but in places they stretched up to the top of the buildings. Almost 1000 metres of lighting cable were used in the installation.
Along with the lights, speakers within the laneway played ambient sounds collected from İstiklal Street, the main street in the Beyoğlu-Karaköy district of Istanbul – the artists’ home city.
The artists selected Abercrombie Lane for its relationship to George Street, Sydney’s main street, and its similarity to many of the urban spaces of Istanbul. Also, the tall buildings lining the laneway, blocking direct sun to the ground, created a suitable environment for a lighting installation. The design for the lights was based on those within a similar laneway in Istanbul and together with the sound component formed a dialogue between the two cities.
The artists said of their work:
“Through sensors, databases and visualisation we can collect information on the ambient dynamics of cities; their sounds, light, air quality, acoustics, human movement, ecological dimensions, social preferences and their multiplicity of interactions. And while social media and global commerce have transcended the confines of place, their impact on culture has made place-centric experiences and spatial awareness more important not less.
The installation’s premise is to reveal the specific ambient qualities of Sydney and Istanbul as distinct urban ecologies, but also like a cultural exchange, put their sampled qualities into a dialogue that responds to one another. The dialogue will be framed on a spatial narrative referring to ‘equal’ volumes of spaces to create sequence, compression, gateway, perception and extension in the formal geometry of the space.”
Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul. He lives and works in Los Angeles and lectures in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.
He holds Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of California and from Istanbul Bilgi University.
Anadol’s works explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts.
Anadol created Augmenting Spatiality as part of the RAP PAR team, working with curator Pelin Derviş and architect Alexis Şanal.