The Constant Gardeners, a large-scale outdoor art installation by Jason Bruges Studio, is an unprecedented, large-scale, performative robotic art installation, combining cutting-edge computing and the ancient tradition of the Japanese Zen garden. The arms of robot ‘gardeners’ capture and illustrate the athletes’ physical motions onto a Zen garden-like gravel canvas.
The Constant Gardeners is London-based Jason Bruges Studio’s first work to be displayed in Japan. It will be exhibited in Ueno Park from 28 July to 5 September 2021.
The installation will produce dynamic, representative patterns, which ‘the gardeners’, a team of four industrial robot arms mounted on linear rails, will precisely rake into a gravel canvas. The large-scale canvas consists of fourteen tonnes of crushed black basalt, surrounded by a further four tonnes of silver-grey granite. In a series of daily performances, ‘the gardeners’ will work together to create around one-hundred-and-fifty unique illustrations throughout the duration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some of the performances will showcase the story of an event unfolding over time, while others will shine a light on a single spectacular movement or sporting moment.
The artwork uses second hand industrial robots, reclaimed from a lifetime of working in factory foundries. In this piece, Jason Bruges Studio reflects on the role of machines in our daily lives and suggests a new narrative around robotics, which highlights their potential for experimental creativity.
Message from Jason Bruges, Creative Director and Founder of Jason Bruges Studio
‘We are proud to present The Constant Gardeners in Tokyo. By developing new paradigms in robotics and performative arts, we hope to show how innovative technologies can be used in storytelling, offering audiences in Tokyo an accessible, meaningful experience and the incredible skill and achievements of its athletes.’
Date: 28 July 2021 (Wed) - 5 September 2021 (Sun)
Place: Ueno Onshi Park Fountain Square (3 chome, Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007)
Opening hours: 11:00 - 18:00
Organisers: Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Support: the British Council
※The installation will implement various COVID-19 measures to ensure maximum safety. Visitors will be required to co-operate with the measures in place.
※The program is subject to change. More information will be released through The Constant Gardeners website.
The Constant Gardeners will be shown at the Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13, organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture). This programme is part of an ambitious joint initiative by the British Council and the British Embassy called 'UK in JAPAN'.
About Jason Bruges Studio
Jason Bruges is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in London. Jason’s work blends architecture with interaction design and uses a high-tech, mixed media palette to explore spectacle, time-based interventions and dynamic spatial experiences. He is passionate about creating site-specific pieces that engage people with their environments. In 2002 Jason set up the studio and now works with a talented team of people to develop and deliver interactive projects worldwide. The studio comprises of an experienced team of architects, artists, engineers and computational designers as well as specialists in electronics, programming and project management.