Interactive multilingual artwork for Civic SquareA community project under the auspices of Canberra Multicultural Community Forum (CMCF) in partnership with the ACT Office of Multicultural Affair.
Following a call for expression of interest (EOI) in February 2012, the concept ‘Lingua Franca Canberra’ was chosen for further development. The Canberra-based artistic team which submitted this EOI comprises Lea Collins, sound artist and designer; Susan Conroy, cultural planner and project officer, Mary Hutchison, writer and public historian; and Heike Qualitz, visual artist.
With funding from CMCF, the team has developed a Design Development Report for their artwork. Lingua franca Canberra will be a rich tapestry of voices, accents, speech rhythms, turns of phrase and languages. The interactive intentions of the work will be established through a recording process with community participants, which is enjoyable and inventive, and encourages participants to contribute ideas. Conversational fragments will be interlaced with environmental sounds and strands of music.
The sculptural form will provide a physical frame for the sound installation and respond to the elements of the immediate space, including both natural and built aspects. It will be accessible to those passing by and encourage further investigation. A key visual form for the installation is that of the funnel – inspired by old gramophones – and suggesting active listening (see sketch below).
The next steps include ensuring that the proposed artwork complies with the Civic Square Conservation Plan currently being developed and that there are no hidden problems beneath the proposed site. The team can then finalise the design and we can start raising necessary funds for constructing, installing and maintaining the artwork.
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