Invisible Flock – an interactive arts organisation which makes high-impact, groundbreaking, innovative work, experienced by thousands of participants all over the world – has created two installations for Made in Hull.
The first installation, Reflections, can be found on a street bench in Scale Lane and in empty shop windows in Whitefriargate, Hull city centre. It follows and captures the daily lives of people on two streets in two parts of the city. It’s a celebration of who we are and where we live, of our relationship to those around us, strangers and friends, passersby and family, near and far.
The second, 105+dB, roars with the passion, unity, tribal togetherness and pride of the football pitch. This large-scale sound installation transplants the awesome wall of noise and energy found in Hull City’s football crowds during matches to Zebedee’s Yard, in the city centre. It’s a mass piece of public art, using 36 speakers and creating a truly unique piece of sonic architecture. Immerse yourself in the sound and stillness, hear the roar of the crowd, the tensions as the match is played out, and experience the beautiful game as never before.
Invisible Flock tells us more …
Have you ever been involved in a project like this before?
We made city-wide outdoor installations for If You Go Away, a GPS-powered art experience that took place across five cities simultaneously. It led you on a journey at sunset through the city via an augmented reality experience. We also worked on Bring The Happy, a digital archive, public art installation and live performance that mapped happiness across cities, this was set in disused shops where we created large-scale installations in city centres. However, the scale of collaboration for Made in Hull has been a new and exciting experience for us.
What made you want to get involved with Made In Hull?
It was a great pleasure to be invited to be part of the opening ceremony for the UK City of Culture and the themes of the event fit very well with our practice. As a Yorkshire-based organisation, we feel very proud to be part of the beginning of such an epic journey and to celebrate with the city.
Can you describe your installations in one sentence?
105+dB is a site-specific sound installation that transports the intense atmosphere of a football crowd into a public space.
We captured some great chants from both sets of fans to be honest, “You’re only here for the culture” is of course a new classic we wanted to get!
Reflections captures the daily lives of those who live on two streets in two parts of town in a momentary encounter.
What can people expect to feel when experiencing your installation?
Experiencing 105+dB is evocative and epic, the sound is intense and exhilarating but at the same time is like a giant hug from 25,000 people.
Reflections on the other hand, is a quieter moment, slowing down and meeting the gaze of another.
How have you used public spaces to help shape or display your work?
For 105+dB the space the work is presented in is important, the act of taking the sound out of the stadium and into a public space in the city where it represents notions of identity, place and participation. Zebedee’s Yard was the perfect location for this.
Reflections responded to the empty shops in Whitefriargate and we designed each installation around the nuances of each specific shop.
There is a symbiotic relationship that everyone is a part of that connects us with the streets we walk down and the landscapes we live our lives in.
Which streets did you choose to work with for Reflections and why?
We chose to film on two streets, Hessle Road (on the corner of Boulevard) and where Princes Avenue and Spring Bank meet. We wanted to meet people in these two streets going about their daily lives. Each area had a different feel about them and were lively, so we felt we would have the best opportunities to meet people there.
How does where we live influence the people we become?
Emotional geography is a recurring theme in our work, there is a symbiotic relationship that everyone is a part of that connects us with the streets we walk down and the landscapes we live our lives in. We are shaped by them and they are shaped by us.
Capturing moments allows us all to understand our own connections a little more.
What have you most enjoyed about being part of this project?
Recording the Hull vs Newcastle game for 105+dB was as exhilarating as the game sounds when it’s played back in Zebedee’s Yard. Being fortunate enough to chance upon that game was a dream.
Tell us about the process of recording at the Hull City match for 105+dB and transforming it into a piece of public art.
Sixteen shotgun microphones were installed around the periphery of the entire pitch, pointing towards the crowd and connected with 2km of cable. Each microphone captured sound from a distinct area of the crowd, so what we were able to record is an exact spatial sound footprint of the match from the fans’ perspective. Each microphone was then played back through its own individual speaker stack in the installation, and the result is the crowd in 360 degrees. You can hear individual voices if you are on the edge of the installation, or the collective roar from the centre of the installation. The job editing the match down to a 20-minute version is about narrative, telling the story of the match in a way that captures the experience of the Hull City fans that were there on that day.
What do you think the chants and sounds you recorded say about the people of Hull?
We captured some great chants from both sets of fans to be honest, “You’re only here for the culture” is of course a new classic we wanted to get! Just before the penalties, the entire home end sang Can’t Help Falling in Love With You which was, and is, really beautiful. Simultaneously, two fans on one of the speakers on the other side of the pitch can be heard trying to start a chant about the player having a shiny head which is hilarious!