WALK THIS WAY in lights on a black background

19 Jul 2022

Walk This Way

Artificial Intelligence enabled public art installation by artists Annabel McCourt and Adrian Riley.

For two-days, on Friday 12th August, 10am-8pm and Saturday 13th August, 10am-4pm, St James’ Square in Grimsby will be the scene of an Artificial Intelligence enabled interactive public art installation.

Come and walk, jump, wheel and dance your way across St James’ Square, under the watchful gaze of CCTV cameras. Pull shapes inspired by the Murmuration artwork and see how your moves are interpreted by Artificial Intelligence into text displayed in real time. Are you a regular resident going about your life, or will your movements be interpreted as something else?

figure in black pointing upwards with right hand. Computer generated dots on joints and lines between them

About Walk This Way

Walk This Way has been created by Annabel McCourt and Adrian Riley, the artists behind public artworks created for St James’ Square in 2021, Murmuration and Come Follow Me (commissioned by Grimsby Creates and Grimsby based visual arts organisation, Our Big Picture), and co-created with visual artists that use software, programming and emerging technology, Rod Dickinson and Sarah Selby.

Drawing inspiration from the area and the people they meet there, the fixed public art works are rooted in community and their histories, research, strong visual imagery, creative use of language and font style.

Adrian Riley, Artist said: “Whilst commercial uses of AI are unlikely to profile people as historical characters or fellow residents of Grimsby – especially those whose stories are etched in stone outside the Minster – we hope it will be interesting for people to come along to St James Square and have some fun engaging with the technology and perhaps also think about the deeper issues it might hold for our communities.”

Walk This Way bridges the gap between the physical and digital artwork, and tests new ways to involve and animate people in the place. A further demonstration as to how fixed public artworks are segueing into real-world participatory digital experiences.

Annabel McCourt, Artist said: “Our work is all about democratising art and technology for members of the public to reclaim their public spaces as fun and playful environments. If people experience the power of AI in their town centre, they can understand the implications of AI surveillance on a global scale.”

woman standing on a bench in front of a brick wall with copper figures that are flocking along the top of the wall
Murmuration, Annabel McCourt. Photo credit: Rick Walker/PA Wire
Man with long brown hair and beard sitting on paved area outside Grimsby Minster. Letters GY etched into paving
Come Follow Me, Adrian Riley

About the commission

The public installation is part of Grimsby Creates Creative Programme, an ambitious, place-shaping schedule of activities, events, festivals, residencies and public art over three years. Supported by the Cultural Development Fund, which is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and administered by Arts Council England, the programme is providing a unique opportunity to transform Grimsby into a vibrant town centre where heritage and creativity are enjoyed.

Adrian Riley, Artist, said: “Being asked to develop a digital extension of Murmuration and Come Follow Me has been a welcome opportunity to look back at the origins of both artworks. It was important to us both that the content came from the people of Grimsby, which led us to the themes that are explored in this new digital piece – community, belonging, and ownership of public space.”

Cllr Tom Furneaux, cabinet member for culture at North East Lincolnshire Council said: It’s great to see such exciting cutting-edge digital works being shown in Grimsby. It builds on the exceptional refurbishment of St James’ Square and gives an opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy Grimsby town centre in innovative and exciting ways”

Walk This Way is delivered by Threshold Studios through Digital Democracies, a national project pioneering the development of democratic and innovative digital work in public space.

Samantha Lindley, Creative Director, Threshold Studios said: “Investing in research and development, and creating a space for new and experimental work to be tested publicly, is crucial for innovation and creativity to thrive. So, we’re pleased to be supporting the development of this new work and connecting with live public audiences, through the Digital Democracies commissioning programme.”

Walk This Way interactive installation will be taking place at St James’ Square, on Friday 12th August, 10am-8pm and Saturday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

The artists will also be on hand to explain how the technology behind the piece works and discuss the implications of this technology in our daily life.

Arts Council England National Lottery funded logo
Threshold text in purple
Grimsby Creates in black text on white background
North East Lincolnshire Council logo

Digital Democracies