Like water for the desert, New Media for New Mexico

KMA – British Interactive Light Installation Artists

First, watch the video…

Are you done? All right then. These guys are totally rad. They are two British Artists, Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler. I found them on page 240 of this fabulous book I ordered from Amazon, “A Touch of Code: Interactive Installations and Experiences,” published in 2011.

These wild KMA cats are all over the place doing immersive light installations designed to bring about public interaction and break down social barriers. The above video, shot in London and and Shanghai, is from their installation “Congregation.” They collaborated  with a Portland-based sound artist, Peter Broderick. The installation is based around the concept that a dance can be choreographed for the pedestrian walking by who can follow the light and sound cues to participate.

From KMA’s Blog: “Over seventeen nights in Shanghai, Bournemouth, and London, the work lived up to its name, gathering over twenty thousand participants. We were blessed with great weather (apart from one ghastly, torrential night in London), and even greater participants. Our Shanghai dates – all clear, dry, still, balmy evenings – were sandwiched between Typhoons, so the scale of our good fortune cannot be overestimated.”

Another interactive work called “Great Street Games” involves public, real time, life-size , gaming in the street. I am not much of gamer but this looks like a blast!


Also from their blog: “Projected light and thermal-imaging technology were used to create jaw-dropping interactive playing arenas in which human movement triggered spectacular light effects. The games took place simultaneously in three North East UK locations; Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Each area competed against the others in this world-first event. The games were set out of doors, in large urban spaces, with no pre-prepared participants.”

I wonder what the thermal imaging technology was. One thing that is kind of cool about these guys is they do not seem to be on the academic art circuit. I couldn’t find a resume anywhere for Kit Monkman or Tom Wexler. Their company seems to survive and thrive through getting fabulous commissions of their work to be installed all over the world. They seem almost cagey , unwilling to reveal too much about themselves. Their work seems to focus more on the people enjoying participating in their installations than  garnering a bunch of press about themselves, their process, etc etc.

What they are doing is on the cutting edge of installation art, and looks like a lot of fun.  For more about them:





One response

  1. Nice post BJ! I like your savvy appraisal of the artists keeping themselves in the background…

    April 15, 2013 at 4:27 am

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