Being Blog


I am so inspired by artists and creatives who see the beauty and possibility in everyday objects and routines and devote their work and time to allowing the public to connect with these things in a new and innovative way. These projects always make me think a little differently, which in turn has an impact on how I chose to view both myself and my surroundings as well as how I chose to interact with the space around me and the people in it. Two recent projects, very different from one another, have struck me lately, and I find that I will randomly start thinking about them during moments of my day. 

The first project, The Human Harp, is by the artist Di Mainstone and was imagined as she wondered what it might be like to play the Brooklyn Bridge in the same way that you might play a harp. Inspired by the suspension bridges’ many wires, she set out to create a device that would allow either a dancer or a pedestrian to use movement and science to turn the bridge into a large instrument. Mainstone reflected that “I was often told to let go and get inspired by the city. So, I’d often go to the Brooklyn Bridge and just kind of watch people and listen.” Beyond just the physical structure of the bridge, she began to see how the bridge is a larger metaphor for the city and connecting the people in it, explaining, “What really struck me was the kind of metaphor of the bridge. So not only was there the metaphor of bridge and heart, but bridge and connection.” 

As her site and the video below explain, the Human Harp that she has created, “is a mechanical and digital clip-on module, which attaches to urban structures such as bridges.  Each module houses retractable strings, which connect to participant’s clothing with fastenings. The length and the angle of the string relative to the module is measured using sensors and this data is used to control the mood, volume, pitch and intensity of sounds.  These sounds will be recorded in real time from the vibrations of the bridge and its pedestrians.”

The Brooklyn Bridge is something that I see almost every day as I live within a few short miles of it. It is such a magnificent structure all on its own, but to see the way in which Mainstone has re-imagined its use and the way in which individuals interact with it is truly inspiring and innovative. It makes me start seeing ordinary structures in a different way and then pushes me to think of all of the possibilities in the everyday things that we tend to take for granted. When you see what she has been able to create, it also encourages me to take some chances and reimagine my own world and its possibilities. The first official performance is slated to be in about a year, and I truly hope to be there! 

Check back with Chapter Be tomorrow for a post on the 2nd project…

via designboom

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