25 September 2017

Swelter Pt1 - The idea

New project. Swelter.

The project is supported by Arts House, City of Melbourne through their Refuge project. http://www.artshouse.com.au/events/refuge/ . This year Refuge is looking at a heat event and with Swelter, I am exploring the concept of an urban heat island in a way that makes it hands-on, accessible and interesting for a younger audience. The basic plan is to build ourselves a room sized cardboard city, inflict a heat event upon it and see what happens.

Swelter will premiere at the Nati Frinj in November this year before heading down to Artshouse in Melbourne the following week for Refuge.  

More of an installation than a show as such, but building on some of those ideas I played with in Balance where you set up a mechanism to model a system and then let the participants come in and change the parameters to see what it does. Although Swelter is more of an installation than a performance, there are definitely some comparisons you could make with Balance. The citizens of Swelter city too, are similarly made of electronic elements and bare more than a passing resemble to the Balance islanders. The citizens of Swelter are built around thermal switch with a buzzer and a blinking LED so that as soon as their temperature crosses a certain threshold they start blinking and buzzing and will need to be rescues by the participants and taken to a refuge where they will be given first aid to bring their core temperature back under control.  From a design perspective its always a fund challenge to take all the elements that are needed to make something work and use these as the key elements of the character design.

The thermal camera that I got to experiment, with is emerging as a key part of making the whole a much more visual, much more immediate and much more intuitive experience (thanks Geordie).

Compared to a thermometer that just gives you a spot temperature at a specific point. The thermal camera gives you a much better sense of what is going on temperature wise across a whole scene. Once the heat cranks up it soon becomes apparent where the trouble spots are.

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