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Twins by Charlie Hooker


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It is a site-specific work which uses the passage of the sun across the sky to trigger sounds which emanate from the sculpture. On the sculptures are sensors which sense sunlight as it hits each part of the sculpture to trigger sound. It fades up from silence in the morning as the sun comes up, then fades out again as the sun goes down. The sounds change according to the seasons. The whole idea of the piece was to record sounds around Brighton for the year prior to the work being completed. They are stored electronically in circuits inside the sculpture and are triggered as the sun comes out, and keep playing. It links to different sounds you hear during the seasons, like autumn storms, and people playing on the beach in the summer.
Artist:Charlie Hooker
Artwork type:sculpture
Material:granite, glass, bronze and audio-electronics
Measurements:2 part piece in all, each piece is 4 m. in total dimension. Diameter = 20 m. 3.5 m. high including plinth
Technique:digital audio recording, solar power technology. Etched bronze, carved and polished granite, cut and polished glass.
Location:Churchill Square, Brighton.
Culture:The world: the solar system.
Rights owner:Standard Life Insurance Company - owners of the work. However, it is a public work.
Rights status:UK HE use only
Institution:University of Brighton
Notes:The work was commissioned by Standard Life. It is an interactive work - people have to go up to it and be close to it to hear. The idea of it is that as you are walking past Churchill Square you hear sounds which draw you in to it. You can sit on the plinth and spend some time there listening to the sounds - it is interactive in that sense. The images on the etched bronze plaques which form the surfaces are derived from weather patterns recorded during the year the sculpture was being made. These weather patterns from the Meteorological Office weather graphs were scanned into a computer. The sounds you hear coming out of the sculpture are a mixture of sample sounds recorded around Brighton affected by computer technology governed by these graphs.

Inscription on the work itself:

This sculpture uses solar energy to change the volume level of the sounds which emanate from it. As the sun moves across the sky, it shines on different surfaces of the sculpture, triggering music from two internal sound systems. A surface is quiet when in shadow and louder when in bright sunlight. Each bronze panel shows a graph on which are sunshine recordings made at Churchill Square during the 1997 - 98 building words. (Similar recordings are taken daily by weather forecasters around the world.) The graphs have been digitally translated into music to produce the twelve sound pieces, one for each month of the year. Each graph charts the sun's trajectory during the various seasons and the types of granite used in the sculpture represent the four seasons. Autumn and winter form one 'twin', spring and summer the other.

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