Back to Front
Location: Toronto, Canada
Media: Granite, LED lights, bespoke PCB’s, sensors, glass lenses, stainless steel structure, bespoke control electronics
Dimensions: x6 3m tall by 60cm wide and 20cm deep granite structures
‘Back to Front’, consists of an array of monolithic granite structures that sense changing levels of light within the park in real-time. People walk through the park, trees shift and the sun moves across the site, casting dynamic shadows onto the monoliths. These shadows are sensed by the artwork and transferred through the depth of the granite structure to reveal animated silhouettes on the opposite side. Images are revealed by controlling an array of LED lights, which are diffused by glass lenses embedded within the stone. The aim is to create an enjoyable and dynamic experience for pedestrians, which reflects the changing weather fronts that envelop the city.
Unique analogue electronic printed circuit boards (PCBs) have been developed for use inside the artwork. Each individual LED/sensor node across the face of the granite monolith works autonomously, both sensing and emitting unique levels of light simultaneously. Imagery emerges from the combined behaviour of each individual LED node.
The installation is able to detect static shadows from buildings, light and shade resulting from different times of day and seasonal changes, as well as dynamic movement from surrounding people and trees. The studio took inspiration from the characteristic lake effect ‘weather fronts’ experienced in Toronto; weather boundaries that separate two masses of air of different densities, that dramatically affect the city’s climate all year round.