The Layer
Brief description of the work:
"A long blue carpet was installed in the dark tunnel running underneath the Thames. Tiny sensors, beneath the carpet detected the direction, weight and speed of pedestrians as they passed along its length and translated this information into a generatively produced sound environment."
Materials, dimensions, duration:
The installation made use of the width of the Greenwich foot tunnel (see scheme below)
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):
Greenwich Foot Tunnel, July 1997,
Millennium Bridge, Dublin, December 2000
Audience information (size, mode of participation):
The layer was discovered by members of the public who regularly use the Greenwich foot tunnel, as well as a London audience group interested in installation art. Interaction with The Layer is both simple and yet deeply interesting, as it places the agency of interaction on the performing audience member. This allows for a wide variety of play patterns to develop, including group collaboration, immersive and social play.
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):
Andrew Shoben: lead artist; The layer was commissioned by the London Docklands Commission and sponsored by the Daily Telegraph.
Floorplan, scheme:

Visual/ audio-visual reference:
Key theme(s):
Social play; immersive play;
Further context:


1 min sound clip from The Layer

further sound clip 'a little old man takes a walk' 2:29

streaming video clip (partially in German) produced by arte TV channel introducing The Layer, interview with Andrew Shoben

The geometry of the foot tunnel made the discovery of the sound source very intriguing. Only within a short distance could The Layer be seen, although it could be heard from far away.