Possibly Colliding

Transforming Space in the Famous Foyer of the Barbican

Client:

Barbican Centre

Location:

London | UK

Date:

2016

Commissioned by the Barbican Art Gallery, this immersive spatial installation explores the theme of collision in the foyer of the Barbican Centre, London’s biggest cultural center and an icon of Brutalist architecture.

Possibly Colliding plays with the perception of the viewer: two objects accelerate and seem to move towards an unavoidable crash, only to run along on their separate orbits again and again.

Project Phases:

Concept | Planning | Design | Realization | Operation

Role:

Concept Development | Spatial Scenography | Interior Design | Mechatronic Engineering | Media Production | Production Controlling | On-Site Coordination | Maintenance

Partners:

Sound design by Ben Lukas Boysen

The installation is inspired by planetary movements and stages the theme of possible collision. The interplay between movement, light, sound and the surrounding architectural space invites the audience to discover a familiar place in a new way through a mesmerizing and multisensory experience.

Specially designed for the Barbican, the spatial installation was first exhibited as part of Nils Frahm’s Possibly Colliding Weekend, which brought together the universes of music, film and art.

“The idea of collision reminded me of a gravitational pull – our planet spinning, and the matter surrounding it in orbit. Then you have all these artists circling the world; there’s always the chance that things might clash, in a good way!” – Nils Frahm

Photos: Mark Allan

The climactic effect of Possibly Colliding – the anticipated crash of two accelerating objects – is achieved by two counter-rotating arms on a large tripod. The light and sound emitted from the ends of the rotating arms emphasize their movement and speed, while the arms’ constant revolution modulates the sound level and creates a phase-shifting impression.

 

The construction can be adapted to different spaces and themes through changes in the produced sound and the sequence of movements.