Hear and see art­work – use your mo­bile

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By TARANNUM SHAIKH

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.’’

Photo: TARANNUM SHAIKH

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.

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