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Art Angel - Spectra

Our relationship with Artangel goes back many years and covers a huge range of projects from various performance works in Room For London through the cinema installation of ‘1395 Days without Red’ (Sejla Kameric and Anri Sala) and  Susan Philipsz’  ‘Surround Me’ that ran throughout the City of London.

When Rob Bowman contacted us about a new project we therefore knew that it meant challenging and interesting work and unusual spaces. The early stages were shrouded in secrecy- we provided costs against a very specific specification without actually being given a location or even an exact date.

James Dugan from Unusual Rigging Ltd was brought in by Artangel to project manage and details started to emerge. A large section of Victoria Tower Gardens, right next to the Houses of Parliament was sectioned off for the installation.

We installed a number of large Meyer speakers in a circle round a raised platform that supported a grid of huge lights, each facing directly upwards. The installation had to be carefully timed and staged to ensure light and sound cables were run under the platform before the final skin went on and it has to be said that our central London location helped greatly in this, enabling us to get cables and crew onsite within the hour, exploiting time gained when James’ team got ahead of themselves.

It was staffed throughout by Marek Komenda for RNSS with help from the warehouse team and Ben Evans.

We aren’t going to try to describe Ryoji Ikeda’s work in detail, Tony Birch’s photo is the best way we have of showing the extraordinary experience and the emotions it provoked. It should be said however that the construction allowed and encouraged visitors to walk between the rows of lights that combined to make the vertical beam. The experience from within the work, looking up inside the column of the light, with the audio surrounding you is one that will not be forgotten by those lucky enough to experience it.

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