Andrew Shoben, Sabine Tress and Ffloyd Gilmour.
Large-scale physical urban installations. ‘Our work goes on in the transit zones of cities, the areas you pass through a thousand times a year and are never fully aware of. It is these grey spaces that provide the backdrop for our installations. And our name, too.’
‘Diverse,’ says Shoben. ‘Before Greyworld, I was a musician/ composer and gameplayer, Sabine was a painter and sculptor, Ffloyd a furniture designer and theorist.’
Sound installation at Greenwich foot tunnel in London. Current work includes an Alfred Hitchcock monument in London’s Jubilee Gardens and a more intuitive interface between the customer and sales systems for a shop in Savile Row.
What work will you be showing at Digital Solutions?
‘Three elements from our Urban Samples exhibition, most recently shown at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. When these elements, or plinths, are touched, unique music and sound is created, emanating from within the plinths. An on-line video of a smaller version can be seen at www.pghcenarts.net/digitaltraces/index.htm.’
On Greyworld’s aims
‘Our primary aim is the establishment of spatial intimacies through the unexpected articulation of objects installed in the spaces. The presence of people causes the initiation of intimate communication, leading to a personalisation of the environment.’
Where would you say your work fits into current and future interaction design?
‘Our work has always been called art, but the line between art and design has been seriously eroded over the past 25 years, and with the emergence of so-called ‘new media’ artforms, where commercial skills are aimed at artistic endeavour, it makes it extremely difficult to separate one from another. The future will allow us to create work transparently from the technology that sets it in motion, to opt in or out of potential creative situations without the necessity for expensive, cumbersome and unintuitive technological systems.’
Work or play?
‘To what extent the audience needs to “work” is the recurring question in a lot of interactive pieces. Where you draw the line between passive interaction and conscious deliberate involvement is a very interesting part of creating the installations themselves. How far should an audience be required to be educated?’
Who’s work do you admire?
‘I really like the sterility and whiteness of Volkmar Klein’s work, [it’s] almost the antithesis of our work. Plus Bill Seaman’s early work, and also Briggs Katmai’s sound installations, which are fabulous.’
Is all your work done for physical spaces?
‘Yes. There is a place for the virtual, but we haven’t found it yet. It doesn’t reach many people yet. It may become an element of our work, but it is unlikely for a long while.’
www.greyworld.org or www.soundawards.org