Motion activated interactive kinetic sculpture
Situated in a high traffic area in an elementary school, Soleil Bleu Ciel is an interactive kinetic installation that is passively activated by the many students walking by. Part incredible machine, part trompe-l’œil, it serves as both a colourful tribute to the deep investment of both students and teachers that make the school such a lively and enriching place, and an invitation to deeper exploration, engagement and inquiry.
Soleil Bleu Ciel hangs overhead in one of the school’s main corridors. By passing underneath an ultrasonic sensor array, passersby cause a number of corrugated circular discs to rotate, changing colour depending on one’s point of view. The further into the area users walk, the more columns of disks begin to rotate, creating an ever-shifting field of colours.
Preceding the installation, we led students in a workshop; explaining and demonstrating in simplified terms the mechanisms that allowed the installation to work. Students were also instructed in making small-scale versions of the installation, putting their own art on the spinning disks. In this way, Soleil Bleu Ciel became integrated into an environment characterized by the sense of ownership and pride of place that the students and teachers alike have for their school.