Public art installation – Melbourne, State of Design Festival 2011

Simone Bliss (TCL) and Philippa Abbott











To map positive social interactions in urban environments and create
an illuminated form – representing connection, interaction and

“As we traverse our urban environment we experience a dynamic perception of place. We are, after all fundamentally social beings. As we move we become part of the throng, like birds turning as a flock in the wind, we react to our immediate environment and our sense
of one another. As we travel; engaging and avoiding, dissipating, and interacting, we are fluid taxonomies of place, through the patterns of people. We speak of, and to, the connections and capacities of being human, and the innate symbiosis in our interaction.

Fluid taxonomies is a site specific mapping that relays to the cities user how external occurrences continue to change their individual experience. It portrays how an everyday happening can act as attractor, deterrent or diversion. It will analyse, and depict how a clustered or linear network can form as quickly as it dissipates whether it be a social interaction, the speed that the city is experienced or the abiding events of Melbourne’s city streets.

This installation will invite individuals to pause, query and respond to the cities ever changing circulation patterns. Clusters of intense light contrast to quieter moments of a very rarely silent city.

This installation aims to invite incidental conversations between strangers, puzzled looks and accidental connections as a city is viewed from the ground up, perceptions of personal space are lost and all eyes are drawn upwards.

Is it identification with place? What are these patterns of person to person interaction? How do they differ from place to place? And how do these patterns get interrupted and formed by the city?”

Fluid taxonomies portrays how an everyday happening can act as attractor, deterrent or diversion. It analyses, and depicts how clustered or linear networks of human connection can form as quickly as they dissipate.

To map and document two areas within the city (Melbourne Central station entrance – lower level & Curtin House Rooftop Bar, Swanston St) according to social use and human to human connection. Thread together the points in time and place that people connect – direct eye contact, touch, affection, a smile, enjoyment of sunshine or whimsical
moments of reflection and interest.

To map a third area using the same tools however in direct comparison to the first two, A close knit indigenous family living on native title land in the Central desert, Northern Territory. This provides different constructs of closeness and how we interpret the public-private divide.
Material Form:
We will create three contrasting installations. By mapping this series of social interactions in a fluid dynamic the results prompt and build the form. The chosen medium of silicon coated LED rope lighting is then woven together using different weaves, coded according to type of interaction observed.

Woven strands of light creating an analogy of the social fabric of place.

Crowd funding welcome!


exhibition as part of state of design festival:

25 July to 30 July 2011 Melbourne


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