• Touching the Echidna installation
  • Echidna installation
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  • Women touching the Echidna installation
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  • Woman toucing Echidna installation
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  • Hands touching Echidna installation
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  • Pink echidna under construction
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Echidna

Interactive Sound Sculpture (2002-2010).

Echidna is an interactive sound sculpture. When you touch it a sound emerges from the sculpture - like a creature that has its own (electronic) voice. It is made of coloured wire, like a messy line drawing infused with life and shaped to create a magnetic field. When touched, Echidnas’ electromagnetic field is disturbed and it will squeak and react to react to human presence. Echidna is the name of an Australian hedgehog that some scientists believe has the ability to perceive electromagnetic fields. The sculpture also has this ability. When you touch Echidna, or disturb the electromagnetic field around it, a sound emerges from the sculpture.

A key element of an electromagnetic field is that it reacts to water and, as we know, a human body is made up of around 60% water, thereby making people the ideal interface in a tactile and physical interaction. Often the audience, when exploring and playing with the artwork, will try to touch it with a piece of paper, discovering that nothing will happen. Electromagnetic fields are, in fact, present everywhere in the natural world but are invisible to the human eye, the artwork therefore has an element of surprise by producing an invisible interactive field, which is only ‘revealed’ by touch and physical interaction

Echidna explores the properties of materials and the affordance of technology, merging the two into a small playful animated sculpture. The work sits on a plinth with electronics inside and combines a circuit, which directly measures electrostatic changes in the environment and custom designed phase locked loop system is used to drive an audio speaker.


Echidna is made in different colours and sizes.
What people said:

Echidna has been a very popular exhibit (many fascinated and appreciative visitors, including people with visual impairments and people with special learning needs) - in fact I think it seems to be one of the highlights, especially among young people. And we have just had a dad and son coming in asking for "the hedgehog". Seems it was a word of mouth recommendation from friends saying they should go and see your work.
Dale Johnston, Events & Exhibitions Officer, Banbury Museum 2011

What a wonderful exhibition, we especially liked the bundle of wire that changed sounds as you touched it.

Visitors to Royal Cornwall Museum, Blind Art Touching Art Touching you.

Exhibitions

Broadgate - British Land, 2017.
Eukeka at The Art pavilion, 2015

China Science & Technology Museum 2012.
Banbury Museum, UK 2011.
Kinetica Art Fair, 2011.
SIGGRAPH, LA, USA, 2010.
Hub: National Centre for Craft & Design, UK 2009.
Royal Cornwall Museum, UK 2008.
The Shire Hall Gallery, UK 2007.
Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester, UK 2006.
Bankside Gallery, London, UK 2006.
Royal British Sculptors Gallery, London, UK 2005.
The Big Blip 03, Festival of creative arts, science and technology, Brighton, UK 2003.
Aarhus Kunstbygning (Centre for Contemporary Art), Denmark 2002.