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THE TIDAL EPIC: LIQUID, METAL, LIGHT

Once upon a magical moon, a ‘fearless artist’ decided to tell a story of the tides. Heart full of flowers, she needed help to make Tidal, a ‘geofeedback’ installation that bridges the gap between water bodies outside and inside us. THE Workshop stepped up to build a suspended storm of metal clouds, illuminated with thousands of LEDs that pull from tidal data and flow in time with the river. When you interact with a large silver moon-like bowl of water placed in the centre of the installation- you start to pull light towards you, from one body of water to another. This went beyond the usual

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Could we make this at THE Workshop? And then ship it across the seas to the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburgh?

Challenge Accepted 🙂 🙂 🙂

From under the bridge to the outdoor structure, the final location where the installation was to be built changed , so the installation changed form, and code. Every iteration looked beautiful.

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Thousands of LEDs embedded in over 30 huge metal clouds forming a spiral vortex, code directing it as it hovers over a four-foot moon shaped bowl filled with water. Water that responds to your touch. Water that links you to the river. The LEDs programmed with over three years of the live tidal data. The patterns flowed, matching Shilo’s artistic vision. It was a great team effort making the tech happen, sensors, moon bowl, weeks of intense wiring, soldering, rewiring, testing, and all that jazz. Twas’ a fun monsoon.

Packed to perfection, Tidal travelled 13,634 km from THE Workshop, at Nagwara, Bangalore to Point State Park, Pittsburgh, USA.  Coincidentally, it was the first international build for THE Workshop. We literally had our heads in the clouds for the whole week we spent assembling it in there.

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Tidal was a massively precise build. Made possible by THE team of asskickers: Srinidhi, Juneza, Gopi, Sanjay, Purvi, Naseer, back in India, and Heather, and everyone else who helped in Pittsburgh.

Here’s the MAKING video:

 

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The finale. A beautifully interactive geofeedback installation in a giant white geodesic dome. We could say Tidal was a geostorm of a build, maybe that be a tad bit too…Cheesy?

The tide is in. Aqueous transmission complete.

 

 

 

Tidal did make some waves : Here’s what the people of the media had to say:

Tidal was made in 2017 @THE Workshop in collaboration with Shilo Shiv Suleman.

 

 

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Synesthesia lights up Mini Maker Faire Bangalore

A thousand two hundred meters of tubing, sixty kilos of steel, six hundred LEDs, five ultrasonic sensors, 2 coats of paint, one coat of primer, over a 100 nuts and bolts, and this was just the installation. Plus fifty-four square meters of black rexine to enclose this little light monster.

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The build was crazy. 7 days. Help arrived magically. Almost sequenced. Thanks Gopi, Arnab, Chetan (for the perfect soundscape), Manoj, Kavita, Vijay, Sneha, Caco, Abhi and all of you who helped snip, string or wire stuff.

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We loved the response at the Faire. People were like “this is straight outta Avatar”. Awesomeness.

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Conceptualised and designed by THE Workshop boss Anabelle Viegas, Synesthesia is an interactive and iterative structure computationally generated with acting forces as the design constraint. The installation tests rigid materiality transforming it engaging the user with a soft, malleable fluid dynamism.

The light patterns iterate as the user engages with the installation. This time around we could only engage two senses. The next iteration will be more divergent, delightful and responsive.

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Super happy we made this happen.

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