Client: Hull 2017
Location: Hull, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $1,300,000
Where Do We Go from Here? used a specially choreographed interplay of light, shadow and sound to guide people through Hull's Old Town. Dormant robots awakened, responding to the city's architecture, interacting with one another and with Hull's residents and visitors. The site-specific installation featured unique configurations of re-purposed industrial robots of across four different sites. From beams to constellations, shadows and reflections, they animated and highlighted unseen places encouraging people to see Hull in a new light. Materials: industrial ABB robots, steel plinths, directional speakers, moving headlights, custom control electronics, bespoke soundscape
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 issued a brief for a major outdoor spectacle to challenge people's perceptions of Hull and offer different ways to experience the city. The artwork needed to include key locations across Hull's Old Town and to celebrate some of the less well-known areas to residents and visitors. The brief asked for an impactful and visually arresting, durational light artwork to signal not only the end of a great year for Hull, but the beginning of a brighter, more confident future. In order to accomplish the scale required, JBS employed a cast of 21 robots, across four different sites, to perform a specially choreographed interplay of light, shadow and sound inspired by the city's maritime heritage and history as a centre for navigation. Building on the idea of light guides, the robots offered a new way to experience Hull's famous monuments, such as Hull Minster and Wilberforce House Museum, and encouraged people to discover of hidden parts of the city.
Jason Bruges Studio worked closely with collaborators and stakeholders across the project programme. They attended regular meetings in Hull and arranged visits for the client to see tests and prototypes in their London-based studio. The scale of the project required collaboration with a number of external contractors. Jason Bruges Studio liaised with these parties regularly and as an extended part of the core team in order to bring the project to life. Jason Bruges Studio evolve projects with openness and transparency to ensure inclusivity and productivity throughout.
Where Do We Go from Here? was an exhilarating mix of art and technology. In order to realise their vision, Jason Bruges Studio had to overcome the obstacle of fusing cutting-edge custom developed software and plugins with 15 year old industrial scale robotic technology. Complex inverse kinematic sequences had to be translated into simple code that would work within the limitations of a 1mb file. This piece developed an artistic, younger audience, many of whom travelled with the specific purpose of seeing the installation. It also appealed to children who were inquisitive towards the technology.