Hear and see artwork – use your mobile
A piece of artwork that combines music and technology has earnt a University of Auckland artist a trip to New York to participate in the annual event Art in Odd Places.
Fine arts student Shannon Novak created the work which consists of 36 individual multi-coloured symbols of geometric forms sparsely spaced in three long rows across a wall in the Arts 2 Building at the university.
Each of these symbols are activated when someone holds their mobile device over it. A note is played that increases in pitch, the further along the wall the devices moves.
A group of people can stand in front of the artwork at the same time and create musical notes and animation with their mobile devices using an application called Aurasma.
Mr Novak, 34, says he got the idea from Talking Heads singer David Byrne who made the installation Playing the Building.
‘‘It was this huge piano in the middle of an empty warehouse. Each key was attached to a wire which was attached to a building.
‘‘If you pressed a key it would tap something on the building. So you were playing the piano and playing the buildings too.’’
Mr Novak wants to take the technology forward by generating artwork on 3D locations.
‘‘I wanted to work on surfaces that were quite difficult to work on. I’m experimenting with 3D surfaces and space, so people will be able to hold up their device in the middle of a field and see this massive sculpture. They can walk under it and look up and see the sky through it.
‘‘It could be literally anywhere, even in the water. You would go out there in a ferry and see it.’’
Because of the virtual content of the installations, he says it overcomes obstacles such as red tape and other regulations.
‘‘If you have a heritage building where you can’t paint stuff on buildings or install stuff on buildings, this allows you to do that without any problems. There are certain rules and regulations where you can’t do certain things, can’t do artwork. So I literally jumped those hoops and can create artwork anywhere I want without having to deal with those rules and regulations.’’
His work has already taken him overseas. He completed a residency at Cen- tralTrak, the University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency in 2011.
Despite his success Mr Novak is surprisingly modest about his works.
‘‘There were a lot of students already on their mobile devices. This was just a way to get them engaged with arts. If one person can find something in it then that’s success for me.’’
He is nervously gearing up for his trip to New York early next month where he will create spots along 14th St in Manhattan that can be activated by a mobile device, to add to the other artworks by other international artists participating in the event.
‘‘It’s an opportunity to shine and I wont take it lightly. For me it’s really about getting out there and showing what I’ve got.’’
Unique sound: Fine arts student Shannon Novak has combined technology, music and art to create String Section.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see how String Section works.