Swing Time

Commissioned by Cornerhouse, Manchester for Playtime exhibition (22 Nov 2014 – 15 Mar 2015).

Swingtime is an installation that unlocks alternative ways of experiencing a gallery space and brings the outdoors indoors. Swingtime is fully realised when people interact with the work by swinging.

The swingting motion activates recordings of found sounds: beeps from the puffin (pedestrian user-friendly intelligent) crossing) and traffic noises outside Cornerhouse, Manchester. They were distorted using Logic Pro and the duration and cycle of sounds correspond to the puffin crossing off peak cycle outside Cornerhouse. Each swing has an accelerometer that senses movement vertically. The Arduino translates this electrical signal into numbers for Pure Data. These numbers are used to control the volume of the sound file. The control has been scaled exponentially to give the whoosh sound effect. The colours for the frame and floor surface are puffin (bird) colours in the colour ratios.

Galleries are liminal spaces and liminality is linked to ritual processes that involve suspending everyday social and cultural behaviours. In this way, people walk through the spaces, stand or sit to look at or experience art in a liminal way. The boundaries between the liminal and the everyday can become less defined.  Having an installation of indoor swings have the potential to subvert gallery conventions and suspend the liminal and return to the everyday, but in an extra-ordinary way. The experience of swinging encapsulates joie de vivre, the feeling of weightlessness and the gleeful repetitive swinging motion that  can potentially transport you somewhere else in that moment and make you lose a sense of time and place.