spatial experimentations

drawing machines to parasitic structures

Site Reference: 33°53′04″S 151°11′56″E

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Kensington Street and its surroundings is an urban environment that is ultimately in a state of limbo and juxtaposition. The urban streetscape environment feels as if it has been left behind in the redevelopment of the city surroundings. Despite this, there is something individual and almost special about this street. It feels as though the urbanity of the site links to Sydney’s past, and provides an artistic hub for both artists and designers within the centre of Sydney City.

At present, there are questions about the contextuality of the site, and where this urban environment should go. The differing opinions about this all stem from the three main possibilities that can happen to Kensington Street and its surroundings.

Should the site be left as is?

Should it be torn down and created into something completely different? Something like a uniformed office or residential block?


Should the buildings and architecture embedded within the street be moulded, manipulated and recontextualised into something different, and potentially more modern and functional?

Ultimately, these questions and answers are completely subjective, and thus differ from individual to individual. Hence, through studying Kensington Street and its surroundings, allow interactive participants with an insight to the blocks materiality and the day-to-day occurrences that happen throughout the urban site. The materialistic qualities of the site are mainly based off impacts from natural elements such as wind, water and sunlight, but also modern impacts such as pedestrian and traffic flow. Drawing machines have been created in order to map such natural elements and movements throughout the streets. These machines give these elements an opportunity to become the artist as they “draw” their impacts of the street. Hence, the drawing machine provides a subconscious perspective to the streetscape.


Site Reference: 33°53′04″S 151°11′56″E

The instillation work “Site Reference: 33°53′04″S 151°11′56″E” tries to map the intensity and direction of the wind throughout the Kensington Street Site. In order to make a clear and accurate reading of the wind within the block, four drawing machines were set up on the four main street corners for five hours on Friday April 1st 2011. These four corners were:

Kensington and Dwyer Street’s

Dwyer and Regent Street’s

Goold and Outram Street’s

Outram and Kensington Street’s

The four corners above were chosen to house the final machines as I personally felt they were the main street corners within the block as they kind of all serve as different boundary points for the Kensington Street site. By comparing and contrasting the impacts and intensity of the wind on these four street corners allowed a conclusion to be made about when the wind is most strong through the day, and which parts of the block are impacted by wind the most. The experiment took place on Friday 1st April 2011- a day where the wind was not at its strongest, but a day where conclusions could have been made.

The wind was mapped through a device that included plastic bottles that were filled with ink, and suspended from individual points with string from street signs. The intricate nature of the machine was enticed by the fact that the stands and bases of the machine was not something I personally made, but it was something that industrialisation and modernity of the city had impacted and embedded onto the street (such as “No Stopping” and “One Way” signs). The ink in the bottles would map the wind through the consistency of the drop- for example, if there was a main centralised drop, the wind was barely felt at that site, whereas if the drops were all over the page, the wind was intense and the bottle blew constantly.

The title of the work is a direct link to the actually co-ordinates of the site, which ultimately connects to the gridded paper in which the machine draws onto.

Written by katmcmahon

April 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

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