Bloom (2016)

A spatial, audiovisual, Internet-of-Things symphony with 1,000 voices

A thousand spheres of light, each on a stalk and bobbing gently in the wind, fill a large clearing. The lights visualise waves of energy flowing across the space; acting in synchronicity, creating changes in ambience, choreographed patterns of light enveloping the space. The Garden comes alive in a bloom of energy and sound, acknowledging the depths of winter yet anticipating a still distant spring.

A symphony of 1,000 voices

Bloom consists of around 1,000 individual spherical units, each comprising a wi-fi enabled processor, GPS, accelerometer, LEDs and speaker. So the units know where they are, they can listen, respond and communicate. Together, they form a spatialised audiovisual symphony of 1,000 synchronised and connected voices – a symphony made of the Internet of Things.

Each Bloom can be placed anywhere; alone or in groups. At Kew Gardens, the piece occupies an 80m x 25m clearing. At Canary Wharf they were in the middle of a pedestrianised round-a-bout.

The project builds directly on our previous works ‘Remembrance’ (Wellington, New Zealand, 2015) and ‘Field’ (Welsh National Opera, Cardiff, 2016). But, whereas those projects consisted of uniform grids of monochrome red LED spheres that independently responded to the wind by changing brightness, Bloom is full colour, and more organic in its structure. Additionally, each node is location-aware and able to communicate, allowing it to be part of an overall coherent effect and choreography.

The Team
Bloom is a Squidsoup project, sponsored by Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, commissioned and curated by Culture Creative.

Squidsoup team: Anthony Rowe, Liam Birtles, Ollie Bown, Sam Fergusson, Chris Bennewith
Hardware design: Erik Kettenburg /