Life Lines

2004 - 2006, Southend on Sea
50mL x 0.5mW x 2mH
LEDs and clear acrylic
Commissioned by Southend City Council and funnded by the Arts Council

‘Life lines’ is a direct translation of the living, breathing Southend.’

The form this translation takes is that of a three dimensional, translucent structure, a kind of wall or border. During daylight hours the piece is a transparent and reflective object. Viewers can circulate around it, look through it and catch refracted and reflected images of the seascape and the surrounding environment. It comes alive through the ever-changing natural light conditions. The ‘border’ is made of transparent acrylic (the material which offers the best light transmission) and constructed in six layers. The effect is that of a kind of distorting lens which fragments and translates the landscape. The interior of this ‘border’ is etched into a kind of three-dimensional abstract landscape. Fluctuating daylight and seasonal differences create an ever shifting play of reflection and shadow.

At night the piece transforms. Along the length of the site, and running the length of the border, are six lines of LED light. These light lines are triggered by six different sensors (sound, movement, wind speed, air pressure, humidity and light), positioned at various different places in the vicinity of the site. When triggered these detectors activate a choreographed program of different light rhythms and patterns. As the light lines move and pass through the transparent structure they catch on the etched surfaces, following the contours and generating random patterns of light. The six lines of LED light change colour every month, as do the choreographed patterns. The effect is to animate the interior of the transparent structure with an ever changing unpredictable flow of light which itself is controlled only by the energy generated by Southend.