31 July 2014

Millions generated for local economies by inspiring art-music installation.

An innovative sound, light and music installation produced by University of Hertfordshire researchers, has met with international critical acclaim and helped to generate millions of pounds for local economies.

A unique graphical score

Plenum, created by Professor of Sculpture Simeon Nelson and Reader in Music Rob Godman, uses an animated physics model to create moving images which then generate audio.

The installation is inspired by cosmology and complexity theory to look at the balance of order and disorder in the cosmos. It produces a real-time graphical score that’s different each time it’s performed.

A reviewer for The Cambridge Student described it as ‘… a grid of dots of light that slowly, but with increasing energy, merge together, decay and vanish in time with pulsating music and “alien sounds”.’

International performances

The piece has been performed in public spaces and projected onto buildings at light festivals around the world, including in the UK, Poland, Estonia and Australia. So far it has been seen by more than 300,000 people. In particular, Plenum was an integral part of the Durham Lumiere festival, which generated an estimate £4.3 m for the local economy.

Festival curators have described it as ‘thought-provoking and exciting’ as well as ‘utterly inspiring’ producing ‘no boundaries between sound, visual and myself’.

Since its original inception, Plenum has migrated from public building facades to concert halls, demonstrating the work’s success as a customisable piece, capable of presentation in a wide range of environments and reaching different audiences.

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