Sirens

 “Danger hides in beauty and beauty hides in danger.”

The Project
 

Sirens will be a large scale, outdoor installation that uses holographic, projections to transform public waterways such as docks, rivers and canals into mythical underwater worlds inhabited by supernatural sea creatures and mysterious mermaids.

It is a modular (eg 8 x 12-metre) installation in which specially constructed screens are hidden underneath the water surface, creating an uncanny, realistic, 3 Dimensional holographic effect when light is projected onto them. 

Sirens is due to Premiere in October 2021 at Princes Keys in Hull as part of Flood Lights – an outdoor light festival organised by absolutely cultured.

The Narrative

In ancient folklore, mermaids have come to signify the delirium of an alluring, supernatural and deadly peril. They are often represented as beautiful seductive creatures whose hypnotic voices entrance unwitting sailors their doom by ruining their ships into lethal tempest or crippling rocks. The word ‘Siren’ is not only used as an alias for a mermaid but is also the term for a device that warns us of an ominous danger and potent threat.

As climate change and human consumption impact the habitats of wild animals, we see more and more species faced with the choice of extinction or migration towards more suitable living and feeding grounds. In the United States, it is becoming more and more common to see grizzly bears rummaging through people’s bins as they move closer towards towns and cities in the search for food.

The Mermaids in our story are not exempt from this destructive process. Through climate change and overfishing they have been forced to migrate to newer feeding grounds in order to scavenge and survive. Moving closer to urban environments helps them to live from human food waste, but their appearance is a symptom of worse things to come…

The Look and Sound

The mermaids will emerge to the surface of the water and catch visitors’ gazes for a short amount of time until they disappear again into the depth of the water below. They will display a variety of movements and traits that range from curiosity to audacity to fear - like wild animals encroaching on human habitats.

Human waste and detritus will also be included in projections as mermaids curiously swim through jellyfish-like plastic bags that are littered in the water.

In addition, we will also create an array of various sea creatures ranging from small iridescent plankton to sharks which will be projected into the water.

Visitors will be lured towards the mermaids’ location with a hallucinatory soundscape that combines whale songs and underwater sounds with a breath-taking female singing voice. The sound will therefore become an ambiguous mix, instilling a sense of running out of breath whilst being lulled by a beautiful calming female voice

Technical Setup

We entrust TG Events with on-site production management including the setup of all necessary equipment and materials. If you are interested in hosting the production then please enquire further for more detailed technical explainations.

Further Public Engagement

 

We think there is an opportunity for engagement other than the experience of the installation itself in the dissemination of the narrative prior to the event. Various media, volunteer and community platforms could be used to spread ‘rumours’ of the mermaid sightings and their ‘scientific’ causes through word of mouth, newspaper articles, radio announcements, social media posts etc. We would be happy to work with marketing teams to find the most suitable strategies for spreading this narrative. 

Relevant Previous Work
 

Below is a video of Ophelia. A holographic installation that features a life-sized projection of a woman submerged underwater.

Here are some quotes on the work:

Striking"..."Very, very effective."..”Probably the best thing in the show”

BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review

"A show stopping homage to Millais"

Financial Times