Field – City groupwork – Research – “The Pool”

This is instillation is called “The Pool” by Jen Lewin and is made up of 106 interactive pads which can each individually detect and respond to movement, and then relay signals to the pads surrounding it. One person on their own can create beautiful patterns, but the true beauty of this piece is when a group of people interact with it and create infinite variations of pattern and colour which responds directly to their behaviour. This allows people to not only respond with it in a detached manner, but actively play and have fun, and the artist found that groups of complete strangers would create their own games involving synchronised jumping from pad to pad.

Again, there is something in our nature that links creating bright colours to a sense of happiness, perhaps from childhood or perhaps it is based on some evolutionary need. Technology rather than separating people using screens, becomes a platform (metaphorically AND literally in this case) for them to have real world interactions and experiences and create a community without being self conscious of having fun. This again links back to childhood, a time where we were completely unashamed about having fun, we ran around in the street and shouted and screamed simply for the joy of it, as you really pay very little heed to what behaviour is socially acceptable. As an adult you become increasingly aware to how your behaviour, how you dress, speak, and everything about you is judged by everybody around you which can be very distressing. However, being able to embrace the childhood joy of play, while also understanding the sense of community (unlike children who view the world in a very egocentric manner) can create an even more rewarding experience.

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