‘I’m Laughing at Clouds’ by Michael Pinsky

    • Client: Anglia Ruskin University
    • Location: Anglia Ruskin University, Young Street Buildings, Cambridge

Photograph by Stephen Leonard

Photograph by Stephen Leonard

Photograph by Stephen Leonard

Photography by Stephen Leonard

Place Services has been working with Anglia Ruskin University and artist Michael Pinsky on the development of a unique ‘singing’ sculpture for Anglia Ruskin University’s state-of-the-art new Health building in Young Street, Cambridge designed by Richard Murphy Architects. The sculpture I’m Laughing At Clouds by Michael Pinsky features nine “tactile” columns which, when touched, detect the heartbeat of participants and convert the readings into a composition of light and sound. As visitors touch the sensors a child’s voice sings a note, at this point the heartbeat is registered the note follows the rhythm of the heartbeat. Both the illumination and the sound get progressively softer until they both drift away completely, only to be reignited when the sensor is touched again.

In keeping with the community theme the voices were recorded by around 80 children from Brunswick Nursery, also located on the site in Cambridge. A specially commissioned performance by the Daisy Farris Dance Collective was developed for the unveiling of the piece, a video of this performance will be available shortly.

Through the project, Michael Pinsky captures what Anglia Ruskin is all about, combining innovation with community spirit. The artwork interprets the function and activity of newly completed Health buildings in Young Street, which features clinical skills labs, a mock maternity ward and operating theatre along with a Music Therapy Centre.

The columns were fabricated by the specialist lighting firm The Light Lab.

Michael Pinsky is a British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces. He has undertaken many residencies that explore issues which shape and influence the use of our public realm. Taking the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher, and resident, he starts residencies and commissions without a specified agenda, working with local people and resources, allowing the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology.

Dr Michael Pinsky graduated from the Royal College of Art. He has received awards from the RSA, Arts Council England, British Council, Arts and Business, the Wellcome Trust and his exhibition Pontis was shortlisted for the prestigious Gulbenkian Museums Award.

To view the documentary film of the launch of the artwork:

For further information on Michael Pinsky: http://www.michaelpinsky.com/

For further information on Anglia Ruskin University: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/

People involved...