Malaga Data Centre, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, 2013. Image: Tarryn HillMalaga Data Centre

Malaga, Western Australia

  • Client: NEXTDC Limited
  • Stakeholders and partners: City of Swan
  • Role of Artsource: Art Consultant
  • Artist: Geoffrey Drake-Brockman
  • Outcome: Pneumatic kinetic artwork for fulfillment of Local Government Percent for Art requirement  
  • Artwork budget: Undisclosed
  • Completion date: November 2013Malaga Data Centre, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, 2013. Image: Tarryn Hill

Geoffrey Drake-Brockman was commissioned to produce a major external wall-mounted kinetic sculpture for the NEXTDC data centre. The centre is a highly secure facility located in the Malaga industrial area and has no general public access. The artwork is designed to be highly visible to pedestrians and vehicular traffic passing by.

Titled Readwrite, the artwork draws on the concept of encoding data by writing bits to a magnetic or solid-state device. This motif has been abstracted and rendered as a matrix of 24 one metre-square elements that can reconfigure under pneumatic control. The work moves by detecting muon particles in the atmosphere, which triggers a program of movement in the elements on the fa├žade.

Readwrite establishes the centre as a unique, high tech building. The visually impressive and engaging work represents a good fit between the use of the building as a secure data centre (where billions of data units are manipulated, transmitted, and encoded through digital media) and Geoffrey Drake-Brockman’s ongoing exploration of robotics through his art practice.

Malaga Data Centre, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, 2013. Image: Tarryn Hill