Fairfield City Museum & Gallery
Keg De Souza
Photography: Phoenix Eye
It’s time to make some noise! Fort Thunder: An Electro-Acoustic Playground is an immersive sonic wonderland and participatory art experience for the local children and families of Fairfield, one of Australia’s most culturally and linguistically diverse communities and home to many immigrants and refugees. Fort Thunder is an inclusive and interactive space, designed to inspire and ignite the collective imagination through play and collaboration around sonic experiences that do not rely on language. This participatory art experience is a cause and effect environment – where actions are rewarded with sounds in unexpected and magical ways.
Lucas Abela creates large-scale participatory instruments and sound installations that switch the roles between audience and performer. He is internationally recognised within the experimental music community for his ecstatic performances using shards of amplified glass. After a long performance career, he shifted his focus to the visual arts, creating wildly fantastical and engaging instruments that enable fun, musical-play experiences for people of all ages.
Keg de Souza’s practice investigates social and spatial environments, influenced by her formal training in architecture and experiences of radical spaces through squatting and organising. She is interested in how unusual temporary architectures can change the way we teach, learn and interact with each other. De Souza works with various media including inflatable architecture, food, film, mapping and dialogue to explore the politics of space.
We worked collaboratively with Fairfield City Museum & Gallery who commissioned ArtsPeople to create a new project. We devised the brief, selected the artists, and together developed the curatorial concept and public programs.
Our role included:
Curatorial & Programming Services
Workshop Hosting & Staff Management
Audience Engagement Strategies
Talks and Forums
For their first major collaboration, Sydney-based artists Keg De Souza and Lucas Abela have combined their backgrounds in exploratory music and temporary architecture to create fantastical instruments that invite experimentation and play. Audiences are welcomed into a musical fun zone filled with a collection of sonic structures that riff off traditional play equipment and children’s toys. Each structure is connected to an analogue electronic music-making sound processor that manipulates audio in unexpected and fantastical ways. In order to ‘play’ this equipment, you need to use your whole body – propel yourself on a swing, twist oversized knobs or move through a forest of steel poles. The artists have drawn on Goethe’s colour theory to sprinkle the kaleidoscopic fields of colour over the wooden frames and floor. LED lights are embedded into each instrument, glowing certain colours in response to the audio being created. The effect is synesthetic: our eyes see the colour of the sound we are creating.