mark fell





manifold : mark fell / joe gilmore

manifold is a work that evolves in response to conditions in its environment. it is site specific occupying two distinct spaces - either gallery or public spaces can be used. site A uses video projection and mutli channel audio playback to display image and sound, site B uses image analysis to get data from the envirnonment. to be linked together using tcpip.

the work looks for patterns of activity in its surroundings, translating these into geometric, temporal and sonic forms. unique to the work is the way it learns or evolves around its environment - adjusting itself around this data it will develop unplanned behaviors. patterns form, unfold, break open, transform, atomise - a kind of fragile time-based origami.

first shown in "the dark arches" in leeds city centre 2006.

photos here:

project description

technical description:

the piece uses two computers networked together. these are located at different sites and connected using the internet.

the first computer has a camera attached and runs several image analysis algorithms extracting data about movement, colour, shape and pattern from the environment. an ideal source of such data is a car park (as used in leeds) where the system can track the changing patterns and relationships between vehicles. but this could just as easily be a street, or factory, human or mechanical object.

the second computer is used to control playback. this typically drives a video projector. the work is capable of running at hi definition. it also drives several channels of sound each connected to a speaker. the speakers used are bare transparent cones suspended using invisible thread from the cieling. in the past the work has been floor projected. however it can be tailored to project onto a wall or back projection.

both computers require a network connection and some network administration may be necessary. this however should not compromise the security of any network.

further information is available upon request.


Manifold is a site specific installation by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore first shown in the "dark arches" underneath Leeds city train station, commisioned by the culture company in leeds.

In leeds the work was projected onto the floor of an arch onto a large slab of concrete. It evolves in response to changing patterns of light and colour taken in real time from a car park, learning and adjusting itself around this data it will develop unplanned behaviors. the work is influenced by our interest in language, computer systems, urban morphology and mathematics.

What struck us about the space was its position as a point of convergence between different forms of transport water, rail and road and you can hear all these while in the space.

In mathematics, a manifold is an abstract mathematical space which, in a close-up view, resembles the spaces described by Euclidean geometry, but which may have a more complicated structure when viewed as a whole. The surface of Earth is an example of a manifold; locally it seems to be flat, but viewed as a whole it is round. A manifold can be constructed by gluing separate Euclidean spaces together; for example, a world map can be made by gluing many maps of local regions together, and accounting for the resulting distortions.

A topological space which looks locally homeomorphic to Rm for some m. m is called the intrinsic dimension of the manifold. It is a A generalization of n-dimensional space in which a neighborhood of each point, called its chart, looks like Euclidean space. The charts are related to each other by Cartesian coordinate transformations and comprise an atlas for the manifold. The atlas may be non-trivially connected; there are round-trip tours of a manifold that cannot be contracted to a point.

Another example of a manifold is a circle. A small piece of a circle appears to be like a slightly-bent part of a straight line segment, but overall the circle and the segment are different one-dimensional manifolds. A circle can be formed by bending a straight line segment and gluing the ends together. The surface of a sphere and the surface of a torus are examples of two-dimensional manifolds. Manifolds are important objects in mathematics and physics because they allow more complicated structures to be expressed and understood in terms of the well-understood properties of simpler spaces.

Central to the piece is an exploration of the interconnectedness of systems and processes, the way they shape each other, and more specifically how these relationships change over time in response to one another. This seemed to have a particular resonance in respect to the space, its history and geographical placement, and its redevelopment.



  • 2 computers
  • firewire camera
  • 4 channel amplification
  • 4 speakers
  • ceiling mounted video projection
  • network connections

both sites to have network access and helpful network administrators

mark fell 2006, manifold fell and gilmore 2006

© mark fell, modified June 04, 2008, at 03:48 PM edit print