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Swinging art headlines Vancouver jazz fest

By Stefania Seccia

Nancy Lee (left) and Kiran Bhumber working on their interactive art installation Pendula is headlining exhibit for the upcoming TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
(Photo submitted)

Nancy Lee (left) and Kiran Bhumber working on their interactive art installation Pendula is headlining exhibit for the upcoming TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. (Photo submitted)

An interactive art installation is coming out swinging for the upcoming TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Pendula, the brainchild of Vancouver team Nancy Lee and Kiran Bhumber, brings together musical creation and technology by utilizing swings, sensors, sound, visual projections and programming.

Lee is an installation artist who specializes in transforming indoor places using lighting, fabrics and textiles in installations and had a chance meeting with Bhumber who comes from a musical background, having studied music at the University of B.C.

“I met Kiran, I expressed my idea to make this installation and turn it into an interactive piece,” Lee said. “She was on board right away.”

Pendula features three swing sets with a responsive audio-visual apparatus, and participants sway in a digital breeze of projection and sound, according to the creators.

“The swing is a very symbolic object, it’s a very playful thing,” she said. “I grew up building tree forts, and in 2012 I started building swing sets in public spaces in Vancouver as public outdoor installation art — some stayed up for two days, some for a month.”

Bhumber said their art installation will see the swing used an instrument, featuring acoustic instruments, as well.

“We’ll be using the swing in different ways,” Lee said. “I’ll be sitting on it as one of the ways to use it, we’ll be using motion tracking as it swings, I’ll hold the swing up and shake it, twirl it — there’s many ways to interact with it.”

Bhumber said they have original compositions and choreography planned for their performance to show participants the unlimited ways to interact with the piece.

Pendula was unveiled on June 6 at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire at the PNE Forum. Then it will headline the jazz festival’s Phase Shift Program at the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 20 and 21.

Then a special adaptation of the piece — The Pendula Exhibit — will feature 10-minute musical performances featuring Neelamjit Dhillion and Clara Shandler.

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