Light Research was a public consultation workshop which used light drawings as a vehicle for dialogue. The project enabled the public to collaborate and create light drawings as a way of communicating what they thought about The Watershed’s outside space.
Light Research and light drawing is a means of expression which gives the participant permission to play in a public space.
Members of the public explored how other people interact in the Watershed space, what memories they have themselves and how they see the space change. The research outcome was a paper outlining the key findings and showing the light drawings.
60 participants made 110 light drawings over 3 workshops exploring the Watershed’s outside space.
Social issues and the physical environment dominated the themes that emerged. Activities and memories connected to the place, such as a murder, meeting loved ones, waiting for friends, seeing movies, dating, eating and more. Participants also commented on the culture clash between nighttime and daytime visitors – illustrated here in this comment: ‘We do not want to be out there too much after 8.30, 9 o’clock because it just tips over’. Finally, participants also focused on the physical site itself and noted ‘There’s always a lot of movement downstairs anyway, because it’s a thoroughfare. We were having fun with that, just making, and using the energy of the space. I suppose as well is quite high energy down here’.
Public consultation project as part of a site research project, Digital Cultures Research Centre and Watershed, Bristol, UK.
The performative nature of using the space, to do for something that was very, really quite fun and also interesting for the people that passed by. And it did feel like it transformed it from not being people throwing up, stacking around or riding bikes straight through but actually used as a space for something which was quite accessible for not only the people doing but also for the people passing – it was a really nice feel.
I thought it was very interactive and physical and I really enjoyed that and it was really good to see how quickly what we’d made.