'This echoing concept of people and place'

Thousands of historic Dunedin images will merge, move and reflect the watcher of the latest Urban Dream Brokerage art project in Dunedin.

Wellington artist Joe Dixon’s work Echoes uses thousands of historic photos of Dunedin that react live to a camera image of whoever stands in front of it.

Dixon described the installation as "a giant digital mosaic constructed from the echoes of Dunedin’s past, and also the present day".

Using software he developed  for a project he said had not been done before, Dixon used "thousands and thousands" of Dunedin images from archives of the Hocken Library, Digital NZ and the Dunedin City Council.

Artist Joe Dixon in front of his installation Echoes at the Wall Street mall. Photo by Peter...
Artist Joe Dixon in front of his installation Echoes at the Wall Street mall. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
People could  contribute to the photo pool by uploading their own image to Twitter or Facebook.

The algorithm used would find them and mix them in with the photos from the archives, "kind of representing how our moments in real life are really related to these older ones".

"We’re just part of this echoing concept of people and place."

Mr Dixon said he got the idea after he saw a request for proposals from Urban Dream Brokerage and looked  online at images of Dunedin’s history.

The thousands of images he saw were "a really cool resource", and a good way to expose the power of the internet and the resources at the same time.

The Urban Dream Brokerage project, originally a Wellington initiative, was designed to introduce art, music and literature projects in underused CBD sites.

The Dunedin City Council last year allocated $50,000 of funding, and Dunedin fashion designer Tamsin Cooper was taken on as a "broker" to communicate with building owners and artists to put the project into action.

Ms Cooper said yesterday the installation was something "slightly different" for Urban Dream Brokerage, and came about with help from a $2500 GigCity grant.

The organisation called for projects nationally and received several submissions, but "this was one of the best".

A launch event will be held at 5.30pm today, at the same time the mall launches free GigCity Wi-Fi.


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