Q&A with Jason Bruges

Bruges is a keynote speaker for the upcoming CODAsummit in Denver and internationally renowned as a pioneer of the hybrid space between art, architecture, and technology.
Digital Phyllotaxy, Location: Seoul, South Korea, 2020
Jason Bruges

Denver hosts the CODAsummit this fall at the McNichols Civic Center Building, one of Denver Arts & Venues many esteemed holdings, October 12–14.

The summit, part of CODAworx, gathers creatives from around the world to talk, listen, and learn about the interesting ways professionals use art and technology to create artwork installations that shift how we experience our environments. CODAworx, which organizes the conference annually, is a platform that brings together individuals involved in commissioned art projects, essentially a hub for commissioned art. We recently spoke with Jason Bruges, an acclaimed multidisciplinary artist and trained architect based in London, who will give a keynote talk at the 2022 summit here in Denver. Bruges’ site-specific work appears worldwide, and recently here in Colorado at Colorado State University’s new Spur campus at the National Western Center in Denver. Read on to learn more about Bruges’ work at Spur, his summit keynote, and what he looks for in a collaborator.  

Digital Phyllotaxy, Location: Seoul, South Korea, 2020
Digital Phyllotaxy, Location: Seoul, South Korea, 2020
MID: How do you describe your work?

Jason Bruges: I’d say at the heart of the studio’s work is an exploration of the interrelationships between people, data, nature, and technology. I’m always interested in performative architecture, living art, and work that engages the audience and creates a catalyst for discussion. Like “sculptural barometers,” our artworks tap into the emotional tapestry of a community or place by translating live feedback into living, breathing, and spatial interventions. Through interaction, play and spectacle, they influence the way different spaces are inhabited. As spontaneous moments of theatre, they disrupt everyday experience by slowing people down, refocusing their attention on the present, and diffusing anxiety.

The Constant Gardeners / Location: Ueno Park, Tokyo, 2021
The Constant Gardeners / Location: Ueno Park, Tokyo, 2021
MID: What does delivering the opening keynote at CODAsummit this October mean to you?

Bruges: It’s an honor to be tasked with delivering this keynote speech at CODAsummit. I have followed the festival closely for the last few years, so it is a fantastic opportunity.

MID: You have a project in Denver scheduled to be finished in 2023. Is there any information you would like to share with readers about it?

Bruges: Rotation Index is an upcoming, site-specific media artwork commissioned by Colorado State University via an open call for public art. It is the studio’s first artwork in Colorado and will be located on the University’s new public-facing CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center in Denver. The artwork will be a “living canvas” made up of a cellular surface inspired by Colorado’s circular fields, the use of circular patterns within data visualizations, and the idea of an angular mechanism filling and emptying. The art intervention will link to live experiments and research within the Department of Agriculture, the new campus, growth chambers, greenhouses, and green roofs. Taking data directly from sensors within these labs, the artwork will animate and transform over time, representing the experimentations and research in real time.

Rotation Index
MID: Did you organize this artwork around a theme or multiple themes?

Bruges: Rotation Index builds upon previous artworks and themes produced by the studio, which visualize invisible features of our environment and touch on the relationship between people, nature, data, and technology. Experienced from inside the bridge and street level through the glass façade, the evolving installation will be a “notice board” for live experiments across campus. It will be a center of gravity for the open-to-the-public CSU Spur, reflecting the pioneering work taking place at the first-of-its-kind campus that connects K-12 audiences with the resources of a higher education institution.

MID: When you collaborate with others, what qualities do you look for?

Bruges: There are a couple of types of collaboration within the studio, internally within the team, and with external partners. I mostly look for shared interests, curiosity, and common goals but across a very multidisciplinary team that includes creatives, technologists, engineers, and coders!

Rotation Index
 
CODASummit is October 12–14 at McNichols Civic Center. Tickets available now. Use DENVERART10 to receive 10% off.