Matariki Blocks

"Matariki Blocks" Interactive kinetic sculpture

"In our line of work we are well used to seeing environments changed through clever and considered thought. In his work with the McCallum blocks for Matariki, Jon managed to stump some of our most seasoned brains, with a work that was beautiful in its simplicity, extremely thoughtful in its conception, and properly magical in its overall impact. Jon is both poet and artist, and we are so grateful for his take on our world."

Frith Walker, Place Manager, Waterfront Auckland

Jon teamed up with Paul Mackenzie to adapt his Tui Tui Tuia project for the concrete blocks down at Silo Park, Auckland Waterfront for the Matariki Festival.The idea was to represent audio visually, using what exists down at the Waterfront as our canvas. We wanted the public to still be able to sit, stand, jump on the blocks, and to hide as much of the technology as possible to create the illusion that the blocks where coming to life through sound.Tui song, along with composed music and a live jam on Saturday night was fed into VDMX software which analyzed the frequency of sound and translated it into color that was mapped onto the blocks using Madmapper, much like a large scale mapped graphic equaliser that people could jump all over. Each block represented a different frequency of sound, and the frequency of sound was mapped to the frequency of light - high notes triggered red and orange blocks, low notes triggered blues and violet blocks.

Jon Baxter, Paul Mackenzie

Sound and Music
Miriam Ludbrook, Jon Baxter, Keith Ballantyne, Conrad Wedde

Installation Crew
Hannah Walker, Sam Hodgson, Andy Cave


Fresh Concept
Simon van Praag, Angus Muir

Waterfront Auckland