A​ ​new​ ​public​ ​art​ ​installation​ ​in​ ​a​ ​pedestrian​ ​walkway,​ ​New​ ​Bridewell,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​centre​ ​of​ ​Bristol,​ ​has​ ​been completed.​ ​Produced​ ​by​ ​Ginkgo​ ​Projects​ ​and​ ​funded​ ​by​ ​developers​ ​Watkin​ ​Jones,​ ​the​ ​piece,​ ​​‘14537/9431’, forms​ ​the​ ​public​ ​art​ ​strategy​ ​of​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Bridewell​ ​student​ ​housing​ ​development.​ ​The​ ​work​ ​consists​ ​of​ ​two brightly​ ​coloured​ ​patterns​ ​cover​ ​one​ ​large​ ​façade,​ ​their​ ​visibility​ ​and​ ​arrangement​ ​shifting​ ​as​ ​they​ ​are​ ​walked past.​ ​The​ ​angle​ ​of​ ​the​ ​images​ ​means​ ​each​ ​is​ ​only​ ​fully​ ​visible​ ​from​ ​opposite​ ​sides​ ​of​ ​the​ ​walkway,​ ​forcing​ ​a viewpoint​ ​that​ ​is​ ​temporarily​ ​achieved.​ ​​‘14537/9431​​’​ ​is​ ​a​ ​public​ ​artwork​ ​by​ ​artist​ ​Lilah​ ​Fowler​ ​that​ ​asks​ ​us​ ​to consider​ ​how​ ​we​ ​perceive​ ​our​ ​surroundings,​ ​but​ ​also​ ​explores​ ​how​ ​our​ ​landscape​ ​is​ ​intertwined​ ​with technology.

The​ ​two​ ​patterns​ ​displayed​ ​are​ ​derived​ ​from​ ​a​ ​custom-built​ ​computer​ ​programme,​ ​using​ ​changing,​ ​arbitrary​ ​data points​ ​to​ ​generate​ ​unlimited​ ​unique​ ​patterns;​ ​two​ ​of​ ​these​ ​computer-generated​ ​patterns​ ​have​ ​been​ ​applied​ ​onto the​ ​fins​ ​that​ ​line​ ​the​ ​building’s​ ​façade.​ ​Fowler​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​a​ ​programmer​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​the​ ​software​ ​in​ ​response​ ​to several​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​Bristol’s​ ​industrial​ ​and​ ​intellectual​ ​history.

Paul​ ​Dirac​ ​(1902-1984)​ ​was​ ​a​ ​theoretical​ ​physicist​ ​who​ ​was​ ​born,​ ​raised​ ​and​ ​educated​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Bristol, and​ ​who​ ​went​ ​on​ ​to​ ​win​ ​a​ ​Nobel​ ​Prize​ ​(shared​ ​with,​ ​and​ ​somewhat​ ​overshadowed​ ​by,​ ​Erwin​ ​Schrödinger).​ ​Dirac established​ ​a​ ​general​ ​theory​ ​of​ ​quantum​ ​mechanics​ ​and​ ​is​ ​considered​ ​the​ ​founder​ ​of​ ​the​ ​field​ ​of​ ​quantum electrodynamics;​ ​a​ ​field​ ​that​ ​later​ ​resulted​ ​in​ ​the​ ​development​ ​of​ ​almost​ ​every​ ​form​ ​of​ ​our​ ​current​ ​electronic devices.​ ​Bristol,​ ​much​ ​later​ ​in​ ​the​ ​1980s,​ ​became​ ​host​ ​to​ ​technology​ ​companies​ ​such​ ​as​ ​IBM,​ ​Toshiba​ ​and​ ​HP, as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​so-called​ ​‘Silicon​ ​Gorge’.

Fowler’s​ ​pattern-generating​ ​software​ ​reflects​ ​the​ ​early​ ​stages​ ​of​ ​data​ ​modeling​ ​where​ ​necessary,​ ​but​ ​random, parameters​ ​are​ ​set​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​enable​ ​the​ ​comprehension​ ​and​ ​visualisation​ ​of​ ​data.​ ​The​ ​results​ ​are​ ​intricate, unpredictable​ ​images​ ​that​ ​are​ ​also​ ​mirrors​ ​of​ ​our​ ​time.​ ​‘14537/9431’​ ​forms​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a​ ​body​ ​of​ ​Fowler’s​ ​work​ ​that reflects​ ​on​ ​​technology​​ ​​and​​ ​​the​​ ​​contemporary​​ ​​landscape​​ ​​as​​ ​​having​​ ​​become​​ ​​inherently​​ ​​combined​​.​ ​It​ ​refers​ ​to the​ ​changing​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​our​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​space​ ​created​ ​by​ ​digital​ ​culture,​ ​where​ ​landscape​ ​is​ ​embedded​ ​with,​ ​and shaped​ ​by,​ ​technology,​ ​and​ ​virtual​ ​tools​ ​create​ ​a​ ​parallel​ ​mental​ ​and​ ​physical​ ​interpretation​ ​of​ ​our​ ​world.


Tom Littlewood, Director at Ginkgo Projects, said: ‘We have been delighted to work with Lilah Fowler to create ‘14537/9431’ as an integral dynamic focal point for new square for Bristol on Nelson Street. The work activates the space and plays its role as part of a new revitalised living environment for students within Bristol’.

Ginkgo​​ ​​Projects​​​ ​is​ ​an​ ​independent​ ​public​ ​art​ ​and​ ​cultural​ ​producer.​ ​Our​ ​philosophy​ ​is​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​a​ ​desire​ ​to create​ ​vision​ ​and​ ​experience​ ​led​ ​opportunities​ ​for​ ​artists​ ​and​ ​creative​ ​practitioners​ ​to​ ​work​ ​closely​ ​with​ ​clients, design​ ​teams​ ​and​ ​communities​ ​to​ ​build​ ​and​ ​reveal​ ​an​ ​authentic​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​narrative,​ ​place​ ​and​ ​distinctiveness within​ ​both​ ​urban​ ​and​ ​rural​ ​environments. We​ ​combine​ ​elements​ ​of​ ​research,​ ​strategy​ ​development,​ ​partnership​ ​building,​ ​art​ ​curation​ ​and​ ​landscape design​ ​to​ ​create​ ​authentic​ ​and​ ​innovative​ ​projects.​ ​Our​ ​clients​ ​come​ ​from​ ​both​ ​the​ ​commercial​ ​and​ ​public sectors​ ​and​ ​we​ ​welcome​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​partnerships​ ​and​ ​fresh​ ​approaches​ ​to​ ​creating​ ​new​ ​work.

Automation Update