Bruno Barbier


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Wave+ is a major artwork proposal which rather than using water as a medium to simulate the moving action of water waves it uses two giant sized Tri-vision wave-action billboards. A series of well over two hundred triangular panels each covered in black felt rotate allowing primary coloured backlighting to escape between increasing and decreasing gaps. The main central billboard sign has a written proverb printed in large white letters along its length. The work is accompanied by an audio soundtrack which uses slowed down sounds of sea waves and wind. Two rectangular welded steel and aluminium frames hold the whole structure in place on the floor. The work can be anticipated to extend even longer or larger depending on the area proposed (up to 25m in length by 15m width max). The shorter billboard which cuts vertically across the principal sign creates a large plus shape which is a direct reference to positive polarity. The longer central sign is effectively the opposite and therefore individually represents minus or 'negative' polarity (also known as feminine polarity = water, the vertical which creates the plus or cross symbol is masculine polarity = fire). At the central intersection of the two billboard signs everything is mixed i.e. primary coloured lighting merge with the sequences of wave movements and also sound. These two movements, horizontal and vertical, of which the center crossing is the synthesis, are an expression of the masculine and feminine principles in creation as a whole i.e. mankind and all living creatures. Apart from the sensory effects of the wave movements, the work strives to address the relationship of water with the other three natural elements. The text in French (from an old Chinese proverb) appears like magic down the centre. Prophetically it translates as: "no wind no wave, no water no wave either" - "pas de vent pas de vague, pas de l'eau pas de vague non plus" it repeats on every second and third rotations. Unlike vertically placed publicity announcements, the work with its message unfolds majestically along the ground and keeps repeating its choreographed wave like movements, releasing colour and sound into space. The work is therefore, essentially two dialogues 1) an ambiguous mix between the subliminal use of public address and advertising, which the work suggests through its text - a metaphoric suggestion of the impending ecological woe water faces today. And 2) a moment to reflect, to be reminded of the rhythms and harmonious movements of water as evoked through the wave cycles and their interaction with primary light colours and reflections. This latter dialogue takes us away therefore from the harsher black and white notions of public address or advertised announcements and takes us through mantric like repetitions of wave movements carrying with them seminal messages of wisdom, movement and sound. This is a time to reassess, revalue and connect ourselves with a sense of what water really means to us. The viewer although not physically confronted directly by the medium of water is importantly observing the fine simulations of wave movements and creates his/her own internal water synthesis and all that it represents as an essential life source and energy. By so doing, the ambient safety and security of creating ones own conclusions, visualisations and individual empathy with this most vital element is where the message of the work hopes to communicate most deeply, before we, as the human race, destroy it and potentially lose sight of it altogether. At night time the work transforms and allows the rhythmic wave movements to be seen dramatically by the brilliance of coloured LED backlighting, escaping deliberately between the moving prisms. In full primary colours, the night sky or darken arena housing the work becomes ablaze with moving wave cycles of light, one after the other - like the endless repeating movement of sea waves that continue day and night.