Private Frontiers uses light as a signaling tool to visualise the growing phenomenon of privately owned public space in London. Through a series of actions, objects and installations, we explore the border between public and private land and the resultant change of rights. These privately owned public spaces are an oxymoronic invention which is changing the shape and atmosphere of our civic culture.
The project manifests itself in the form of two objects, a backpack and a pendulum. The objects are the result of an exploration into these territories, translating their semi-visible thresholds, from common public realm to controlled private land, into signalling tools which indicate the crossing of the border by a transformation of the object.
2015 – RCA, in collaboration with Will Yates-Johnson
Walking the public-private frontier, looking for signs that indicate the perimeter, we harvest GPS coordinates, building the valuable asset of hard-to-find data. This GPS-enabled backpack, which flickers near the border of
a private zone, then fully illuminates once inside, a indicator light to the user and others that the rules have changed.
A pendulum, placed in-situ along the boundary, uses light to express the transition from public to privately owned space: the arm swings constantly, dimmed over the public land and illuminated over the private.
The asymmetrical tripod stands on the border whilst not physically touching the private land, only occupying its air space as the light swings across.