Making Waves

Housed within a thirty-foot diameter dome, Making Waves consists of one hundred equilateral prisms mounted on opposite ends of fifty aluminum rods, connected by a central torsion cable and supported on a sixteen foot long base which reflects the prisms in its form. Drawing direct inspiration from a device known as a Shive wave machine, developed originally by physicist John N. Shive for Bell Laboratories, Making Waves allows visitors to interact at various positions along the piece by pushing down or pulling up on any of the rods or prisms. Resultant waveforms will then transpire along the length of the piece, their intensity, speed, and direction directly correlating to the nature of each visitor’s interaction.

A series of colourful reflections and refractions dance across the inner surface of the dome as the prisms, set into physical waveforms by the actions of visitors, interact with the varying frequencies of colour-shifting lights, positioned at both ends and directed along the length of the piece. This dynamic interplay of light and motion is directly and intrinsically linked to the participation of those who experience Making Waves.

The act of intentionally generating a wave is a direct act of engaged disruption, following this year’s theme. The imagery of a generated wave that directly correlates to the actions of visitors serves as a metaphor for the impact potential of various forms of disruptive engagement (e.g. sociocultural, technological, economical, artistic, etc.).


  • Mixed Metaphors

    Mixed Metaphors formed in 2014 as an Ottawa based creative partnership between interdisciplinary artists Jesse Stewart and Matthew Edwards. Focusing on sound sculpture, sound art, interactive audio-visual installation and performance, Mixed Metaphors is deeply committed to creating aesthetically compelling, multi-sensory public art installations that encourage curiosity and wonder among those who experience its works. Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, improviser, percussionist, artist, instrument builder, researcher, writer, educator and community activist dedicated to reimagining the spaces between artistic disciplines. Matthew Edwards is an architectural designer, musician, educator, and artist with a broad and diverse skillset, and a particular interest in the sonic experience of space. Collectively, the duo possesses a portfolio of over twenty commissioned projects in the visual and sonic arts.