We See Change asks a burning question: How can we give meaning to the light?
We See Change is a unique public sculpture inviting people to send messages for broadcasting on a massive interactive LED billboard in Spier’s historical werf from 19 March – 18 April 2021. This innovative digital platform encourages connection and dialogue by beaming personal messages of hope and change. Like a beacon – opinions, desires and concerns about the world, during this uncharted epoch, shine brightly for all to see.
The public art project aims to promote diverse public engagement by allowing people to engage with, connect, and prompt dialogue relevant to the topics of our time. It amplifies the voices of the everyday person to promote understanding, awareness and empathy. From the political and critical, to the personal and lighthearted, We See Change asks a burning question: How can we give meaning to the light?
This large public sculpture is a three-way collaboration between interactive design studio, Thingking, architecture firm, The Maak and sculptor David Brits. Deeply engaged in what it means to be public, these collaborators have come together as inspired creative studios that want to see more positive, tangible change.
We See Change explores a new approach to public sculpture that bridges the physical and virtual realms. Taking the form of a dedicated web platform, citizens are invited to send messages for live broadcasting. The interactive LED billboard provides a person’s digital engagement with a real-time counterpart in the physical world, thus sparking magic, conversation, truth and intrigue.
Marc Nicolson, of Thingking Studio, is the design-maker consultancy responsible for fabrication of the billboard. He explains, ‘The billboard is made of eight lines of 12-meter-long addressable LED lights. A microcomputer linked to a 3G sim card converts the public’s messages into code that individually lights the LED pixels. Your words then scroll along the billboard. Current messages as well as an archive of past submissions will be posted on the We See Change website for everyone to see’.
Sculptor David Brits believes that the messages are a personal as well as a societal call to action. Desires, frustrations and hopes are openly expressed at a time when it is most needed. David emphasises, ‘We See Change aims not to add to the noise, but to be a signal. The project says loudly we are stronger together and that creativity will endure. It’s a way for people to declare “I am here, I count and I care.”’
‘The inclusion of We See Change as part of the Spier Light Art Festival is an open call to engage with difficult topics and voice the change that people really want to implement,’ adds Ashleigh Killa, The Maak’s co-founder. ‘The very nature of this project’s input platform allows for openness, honesty and anonymity - it is as uncensored as you get.’
To instantly broadcast your message of change on this billboard, log onto weseechange.co.za. From 19 March 2021, your messages will be live-streamed on the billboard and archived on the We See Change website for others to explore.