Urban Islands: The Review Day

Last Saturday was that the review afternoon for Urban Islands 2009 – both the culmination and end stage of the two week workshop. Talk about, critique and all the students and instructors, along with a massive amount guests, headed out to see the projects.

The very first studio to present has been Geoff’s and everybody was led to the dog-leg tunnel at which the student’s “tarot” cards were strung up and exhibited. The students each had a brief quantity of time to show their project. The ideas were broad and diverse, and the final peices contained a Cockatoo Island board match fictional games, a brewery that is light and a snow world in Cockatoo Island Space Center.

The floor was opened for debate among guests, instructors and the students, and mostly centered on the economics of those items that had been generated, being that most of these were imagined as items.

Following the dialogue, we proceeded down the tube into the very first of Mette’s studio’s installations. At the dog-leg of the tube the setup ran in 1 corner, flow and a organza fabric seeming to raise. Slightly motorised, it shook and shivered a little, breaking the mild up and disorienting. The purpose was to it be reminiscent of scenic, fog and vaporous solid and enclosing, but in exactly the same time not there at all.

Walking along to the rooms near the massive turbine space and continuing along the tunnel, we stumbled upon the other textile-based setups. Crowds of people gathered around the installations, wandering around and checking them out. In the room was an installment of lace, cut into patterns and strung up with cable to points around the room. As we stood and watched the wires would be pulled, and the arrangement would fall apart, altering, tensing and releasing in which it ripped.

The room included An artificial weather system created in the roof. Bottles released water onto a grid of weights, pulleys and string, dispersing water in a arbitrary fashion, dependant on the changing burden of the bottles, along with other things.

The installments of the final of Mette’s studio was in the room – an array of upholstery ribbon – laced from ground level to the roof of this space. Its base was a piece of curved perspex, resulting in the threads creating beautiful patterns and travel along arcs. This thread’s nature was that it picked up and reflected the light around it, which made for quite an effect.

As a loosely-knit team we ended up to the Islands primary apron where Mark’s Studio’s installations were put up. Each of of the pieces were connected together physically in some manner and invisibly over a distance. You will find concrete blobs placed with cable operating between them in some type of grid that is indistinguishable across the apron. At each one of these point there were tripods set up with fins painted in different patterns coming out of the top.

Later in the day we would climb to a platform above the apron. From this standpoint you could see this the grid of cable made a view wireframe of one up around the island. The end had played its part and curved and twisted the traces, however it was still clear that this was an nearly glamorized (75% scale apparently) representation of a real construction.

There were some bamboo sticks set up with fishing cable running at a pattern between them. As it turned out that the wires mapped out a scale model of the topography of one of the dry-docks of the Island. Along the pieces of string was reflective tape, so that has been visible, however understated. When there was a photo shot with the flash, however, and the pieces light up , even in daylight.

Scattered on a the apron are a few items known as “the draw”. These were apparatus set up on stands that changed the way you saw Sydney and the Island itself when you looked. One added a literary construction on the horizon in North Sydney if you looked through it, and the other actually showed you (by way of mirrors) the perspective perpendicularly to a right, rather than directly ahead in the path you’re searching.

After lunch we made our way into one of those convict cells (that was armed with a projector and display) for the presentations from Mark and Mette’s groups. Following a few hiccups with power cords, adaptors and projectors the guest architects/artists were seated, along with the groups began to present. There was a time of conversation with some thoughts presented, once the groups were introduced.

There was discussion about the difference between the student’s vision for the jobs and how much of that eventually been achieved (given time constraints and other problems). Each one of the groups had goals beyond the last installation, but had run into issues ranging from issues to specialized aspects not working that people hadn’t interacted with the functions as expected. A few of the students mentioned how nice it was to be placing their theories and needing to take care of the adjustments when things didn’t work proved to be a part of the encounter.

Other students expressed their delight at focusing on installations that were full scale instead of smaller scale models (such as they would normally work on). A few of the guests said that they were glad to see students moving beyond working on computer or paper, and using stitching machines, casting concrete and building items.

There was a bit of discussion about how lots of the bits had almost an quality to them. The spaces around the island had such a aesthetic quality which the installations were treated by those seeing them as parts of art – to be looked at from an area. A few of the pupils had expected that a more tactile interaction between people and the bits.

The problem was said of whether there had been consideration left to the installments reacting to people’s existence. As it turned out, one of the groups were planning on getting their setup pulse and proceed as it came connected with individual skin (by utilizing conductive fiber) but did not have time in the two months to perfect it. There was some additional discussion on the importance (both for and against) of installations responding to a human presence.

In connection with Mark’s studio there was. The installments were architectural in although they had been educated and motivated by the website, but were more of demonstration and an interpretation of the island in new ways. They were also a tool to inform, to educate and to begin conversation. There was lots of support with this concept that architecture is much more than buildings.