s q u i d s o u p . o r g


art, research and play in creative interaction design

July/August 2015: Update and 2 shortlists

IMG_0457Secret Garden Party

DSC02455Salisbury Cathedral

July has been a busy month for us. We have two installations running at Salisbury Cathedral, we showed a new untitled light sculpture at the Secret Garden Party festival in Cambridgeshire UK, and also did our first stint as VJ/lighting designers for a gig with Four Tet at the Manchester International Festival. Another project of ours, ‘Please do not feed the Bugs’, is currently on tour in China in Shijiazhuang and heading for Xian and Beijing (in collaboration with TIFF) and will also be on show in France in October; and Purity Ring continue their world domination tour using our lights and software. So, if you want to experience our work first hand, there’s never been a better time.

We have also been shortlisted for TWO international competitions – if you are eligible to vote in either (and everybody is eligible to vote in one of them), we’d deeply appreciate your support.

LUMEN prize has shortlisted Aeolian Light, the largest LED volume we have made, that withstood 3 weeks of harsh Mancunian winter weather outside Salford’s Lowry Centre and commissioned by Quays Culture. Details at http://lumenprize.com/artwork/aeolian-light.

We have also been shortlisted as one of the best light art installations for the DARC awards. Details at  http://www.darcawards.com/view-entries/. If you are eligible (for this you need to be an independent lighting designer or light artist) we’d sure appreciate your vote!

Current and upcoming events:
Enlightenment + Power of Words. Salisbury Cathedral. Until 7 September
Four Tet. ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 25 August 2015).
Please do not feed the Bugs (Nejma, La Roche sur Yon, France, 1-8 October 2015)
Please do not feed the Bugs (China tour, July 2015 – April 2016):

  • Hebei Museum, Shijiazhuang.
  • Hunan Provincial Museum, ChangSha.
  • Shaanxi History Museum, Xi’an, Shaanxi.
  • Chinese Museum of Women and Children, Beijing.

Salisbury Cathedral, Magna Carta celebrations


Salisbury Cathedral, home to one of four original copies of the Magna Carta, is celebrating the 800th anniversary of its signing. We were commissioned to produce two artworks for the event: Enlightenment and Power of Words


ENLIGHTENMENT continues the explorations of volume and light used by its predecessors such as Aeolian Light (2014) and Submergence (2013). Over 6,000 individually controllable points of light are suspended 7m from the North Porch at the cathedral. The piece was inspired by the ripple effect of the Magna Carta over time and space; how its influence has changed and grown over time to encompass a large part of the world.


Another project, POWER OF WORDS, adorns one wall of the Morning Chapel. Quotes and phrases from the Magna Carta grow organically over time, but can be disturbed, shaken and destroyed by visitors. By disrupting the structure of the growing words, key phrases emerge, encouraging visitors to reflect on the consequences of their actions, the meaning and concepts behind the Magna Carta, and their relevance today.



Both exhibits are free to the public and open daily until 6 September 2015.
More info here.
More images here.

Aeolian Light video

or see the full website at http://squidsoup.org/aeolianlight


Purity Ring world tour


We have been working with Canadian synth-pop duo Purity Ring recently on a touring lighting system for their underway world tour. The idea was to take our ‘Ocean of Light’ system – a mixture of hardware and software libraries that we have developed, and used in our own installed works such as Submergence – and place it on stage with the musicians, effectively creating a volumetric stage lighting show. Various 3D lighting effects are triggered and controlled in real time by the band.

Reviews in the press from The Guardian and The Irish Times

Coming soon to a town near you!

Photos: Wunmi Onibudo

Photos: Purity Ring


and also

Submergence at Adelaide Festival (updated)

The Submergence world tour continues, hot on the tail of Mexico City, with an appearance at Adelaide Festival. The piece has the honour of being housed in the Rotunda, a beautiful (and recently renovated) bandstand, donated by the City of Glasgow some 150 years ago and positioned in Elder Park, central Adelaide. The location proved perfect, showing that Submergence, despite being conceived of as an indoor environment, works equally well as an outdoor object seen from afar.


People can still wander within the space however, and many did. Several thousand visitor came to the opening evening, and many more expected to come over the next couple of weeks.

Submergence at Blinc, Adelaide Festival, Elder Park, Adelaide from 28 February until 15th March, dusk ’til late.

festival site here

More images here




Submergence in Mexico City


Museo Jumex in Mexico City hosts the first showing of Submergence outside Europe. The exhibition is part of Visual Art Week, an excellent new light art festival. Submergence is in good company, with five large-scale outdoor pieces by Visual System (FR), Art Alliance/Peaktime (MEX), Joao Martinho Moura, (POR), Daniel Iregui and others.


The first full day saw queues extending out the door and some 2,500 visitors. These only got longer, with visitors exceeding 4,000 on the Friday and Saturday, and a total over 16,000 (paying) visitors seeing the piece in its five day exhibition slot.

Thank you Mexico.

Creators Project covered the exhibition here. (or here in Spanish)





Aeolian Light musings

Aeolian Light @garethhacking

Aeolian Light, our latest outdoor public artwork, comes down tomorrow morning. As we head up the M5 and M6 ready to cut cable ties and load 12,000 wet LEDs into the back of a truck, we are pondering the events surrounding the work. The weather was definitely a challenge (it rained throughout the install, though apparently a bit less since), there were various technical issues, the piece seems to have been used very robustly on occasions (a couple of striking breakages have been reported), but the piece survived throughout, and seems to have been a popular attraction for the many thousands of visitors to the installation, just outside the Lowry Theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Putting work on outdoors makes for a very different experience to the controlled environment of the art gallery, or indeed any indoor space. There is less of the hushed awe of the art gallery (i.e. more like a party atmoshphere, raucous laughter, running around etc). But what was most extraordinary was the length of time people spent in the work – upwards of an hour in many cases, in the wet and freezing northern English winter.

Coverage includes The Guardian (in print today, photo highlight of the day on 5 Jan), the Times (arts critic choice ‘top pick’ in print and online), Wired UKLuxurious MagazineCulture 24, interviews on Granada TV and BBC Radio Manchester, and mentions in the Scottish Sun, After Nyne, ArtsHub and many more.

Also some touching and beautiful social media contributions – in particular on Twitter (also search Aeolian Light or #SquidsoupQuays) – thanks everyone for coming to see the work and telling others about it. It’s been a great experience. Thanks also to Quays Culture and University of Salford for commissioning the work.

Some nuggets from the Twittersphere above and below:

Aeolian Light @garethhacking

Blue is the warmest colour Claire Wroe

Aeolian Light at Salford Quays


Following on from Submergence, our latest piece to use arrays of light in 3D space is a new commission called Aeolian Light. The piece, commissioned by Quays Culture and University of Salford, is a 10m x 10m piece, 5m high and comprising around 12,000 individually addressable points of light suspended in space.

Inspired by the windy location, the piece visualises the wind as an illuminated chaotic force. Virtual debris and imaginary fields of energy pass through the work, carried on the wind in gusts and blasts. The strings and lights also sway physically in the wind, and people add a layer of illumination and turbulence as they walk through the piece.

Video and more information coming soon. More images here.

Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, until 7 January 2015.

#squidsoupquays. Commissioned by Quays Culture and University of Salford.

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_JCF4906 copy


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Digital Catapult


We are delighted to be showing Volume 936, a smaller iteration in the Ocean of Light series, as part of Digital Catapult‘s Showcase Exhibits as part of the launch season at their new headquarters at 101 Euston Road. More information on the showcase here. The piece will be on show until 10th December 2014. If you’re in the area, do please come and see the work. Venue details here.


Volume 936 uses the same technology as Submergence, but configured as a much smaller array of lights.

[Small is beautiful, but look out also for our next piece, which will be over 12 times larger than Volume 936! Announcement coming soon]

IMG_3749 IMG_3745


Room – Submergence as interior design


Phaidon’s just published book ‘ROOM – Inside Contemporary Interiors’ is a massive and fascinating compendium covering a very broad range of interior spaces. It features 100 interiors selected by 10 ‘widely respected interior design critics, practitioners and curators’. Projects were selected for ‘pushing the boundaries of design and constantly revising our understanding of interior space’.

Miles Kemp, author of Interactive Architecture and founder of interactive design agency Variate and product design company Digital Physical, selected Submergence as one of his ten interior spaces.