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Patch works 

Stephen Kelly’s Patch responds to the vibrancy of life in Dalhousie’s eco-friendly Mona Campbell Building

Kelly's Patch is based on computational art
  • Kelly's Patch is based on computational art

Building have feelings too. Stephen Kelly's Patch is a technological and artistic milestone, combining computer science and art to create a unique experience. The work is based on computational art, where code or algorithms help run the artwork. Kelly is an expert in mixing technology with art as an artist and a Ph.D computer science student.

"Working with real-time sensor data from the various 'smart' systems in the building seemed like an interesting way to engage with the building," he says. "This project involved working with more specialists than I've ever been involved with before, and figuring out how to take full advantage of what each had to offer was an interesting process."

Kelly created Patch as installation that would correspond with the LEED-certified, eco-friendly Mona Campbell building at Dalhousie. Patch is a series of 19 robotic lanterns, each representing an individual classroom in the building. The artwork responds to the vibrancy of life through a complex digital smart system. The cubic lanterns change colour when energy, water and steam levels fluctuate. Long, slender fibreoptic tubes move according to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

"Occupants of the building are involved in constant, slow interaction with the piece," says Kelly. "The results of this process are not pre-determined or under my control as an artist. In that way the work creates an impression that is unique to that space at any given point in time."


On now

Mona Campbell Building, 1459 Lemarchant Street, third floor, central staircase

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Vol 26, No 24
November 8, 2018

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