Kuuki is an art and design studio that brings traditional art forms such as sculpture, illustration, photography and fashion, together with digital technologies. The studio was established in 2006 by Priscilla Bracks and Gavin Sade as a vehicle for collaboration, uniting practitioners with diverse skills to create unique artworks and experiences.
We make illuminated sculptures, interactive installations and experiences using technology such as live data streams, embedded cameras and sensors and face tracking software, to build connections between concepts, locations and audiences. This work has led to commissions for interactive objects, screen based games and experiences for public programs for galleries and festivals such as the State Library Queensland, the Ipswich Art Gallery, and the Warnambool Children’s Festival.
Our work is internationally recognised and has been exhibited in festivals, institutions and galleries such as the Museum for Contemporary Art (Taipei), the International Symposium of Electronic Art (Belfast 2009 & Istanbul 2011), the West Australian Museum (Perth), the Samstag Museum (Adelaide), the Arts Centre (Melbourne), the State Library Queensland (Brisbane), and at other venues in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, and across Australia.
Art (and design) is the heart of what we do – but it is not all we do. Art helps people understand themselves and the world around them. It reflects culture and sometimes effects culture. When applied to commissions in a commercial setting, our approach produces outcomes that are tailored not generic. Our work is unique and human. It is made for people – from the biggest business (ie the people who create them) to the smallest child – it cuts through established vanilla approaches to engaging with audiences, and stands on it’s own.
Our public commissions use design and technology to create participatory experiences that deepen the audiences’ connection with the work’s location – it’s historical, cultural or environmental context. We are interested in how public art may be used to reconnect people with the natural environment on which our urban environments are built.
We specialise in illuminated media facades and sculptures that are designed to sit harmoniously and respectfully within a building’s architecture. Our ambient lighting displays are often generated by relevant real-time or historical data sources. This approach avoids the repetition of choreographed light shows, ensuring infinite variability over time without the need for re-programming.
We collaborate with institutions and brands to create environments, technology, and processes that open a door, enabling audiences to explore the unknown. We work collaboratively with you to identify key insights and develop experiences that engage your audience, establish dialogues and facilitate exchange.
Our work is informed by Gavin’s theoretical research at the Queensland University of Technology and Priscilla’s field work in museums, galleries and creating experiences in a public context. Our process involves audience and brand or content research, searching for appropriate triggers, identifying significance, developing content and interactions, testing and refinement. The resulting experiences created act as a bridge between playful interactions, memories, possibilities and future realities.
We are driven by a need to communicate ideas, stimulate thought, generate dialogue and facilitate growth of inclusive communities. We have worked extensively with public galleries to develop technology, games, activities, experiences, workshops and events for public programs for children, young adults and audiences with specialist interests.
As educators, we lecture and deliver workshops on a range of subjects. Gavin is the Head of the School of Interaction and Visual Design at the Queensland University of Technology. Priscilla has taught at the Queensland College of Art.
Kuuki is a Japanese word and like all words there are different usages, meanings and a rich etymological origin.
Our naming highlights a unique sense of style, energy and spirit we bring to our work. It also reminds us that there is far more to our world than what we can immediately perceive – and it is from this that we draw inspiration for our creative work.
In Japanese kuuki also means air or atmosphere and is used colloquially in phrases such as kuuki o yomu which literally means read the air, but can be interpreted as understanding without explicit informaiton or the unspoken mood or feelings, or the air or atmosphere of a situation, relationship or interaction.
Kuuki is also used to refer to “the things we take for granted, but can’t live with out”, and for us this is one of it’s most important meanings, because we believe that some of those things taken for granted, are art and creativity…