Shark in the Puddle

Credit: Simon Myers

Weather is universal and us Brits are obsessed with it. Our climate affects us and makes us play; we hug the shadows to stay cool in the summer sun, we jump in puddles and count the gaps between thunder and lightning. Ludic Rooms want people to feast in this chaotic explosion and participate in the production of their city.

Shark in the Puddle is a collection of freely-distributed interventions in the city. Ludic Rooms, the creators, will collaborate with the people of Bristol to create an arsenal of open ‘disposable’ artworks that gradually inhabit the city, changing daily based upon the ecosystem: sun, rain, wind, day, night. This might include sonic challenges powered by 3D-printed mechanical turbines, a giant stencilled shark game that appears on the ground only when puddles form or a photo challenge that appears in shadows from streetlights. This is all about open play in open spaces.

No technology is required for people to become players of Shark in the Puddle, we don’t want to try and anthropomorphise the city, we want the public to feel a new connection to the place in which they live. The project is data driven and informed by data, without being ‘smart’. The sculptures and installations/interventions are connected, they exist and change but without players feeling information fatigue or reducing them to appendages for their handheld devices interpreting device-only content.

We are interested in ‘space’ just as much as ‘place’, universal architecture and environment that is not unique to a specific city. The open source model allows the work to tour itself. It gives agency to players and games-makers around the world. It affords the improvement and enhancement of the original concept and design via forks and branches, a collaborative and community-driven approach.