One Bedford Avenue, Bloomsbury, London
View from Bedford Avenue towards Tottenham Court Road.

Project Architects: Bennetts Associates

lilah fowler  

lilah fowler  

‘Our knowledge is nothing but the glass of our own imperfections’ - from the Commonplace books of Francis Russell, the fourth Earl of Bedford (1687 – 1641), in the book titled ‘Knowledge’, p953

The artwork is comprised of an LED light (above) and glass fritting design (below), that draws from the history of technology commerce at Tottenham Court Road, following its evolution from analogue to digital and to potential future technologies. The land, owned by the Russell family and Duke of Bedford, led to further research at the Bedford Estates Archive, which holds the commonplace books, a vast collection of unrelated political and cultural thoughts taken from multiple sources – a resource comparable to Wikipedia today.

The quote above has been translated to the 0’s and 1’s of binary code: the 0’s are formed by the windows of the façade, and the strip of neon LED light as 1’s, so that the pattern could, ostensibly, be read. The text becomes a link between the recent history of the site to the larger history of the Bedford family and estate that extends beyond Bloomsbury: the decryption work during the second world war, helped by the Wrens billeted at Woburn Abbey and the Political Intelligence Department secretly housed there. While binary code represents the current state of technology, quantum computing represents one potential future. Working with a quantum physicist at UCL, a quantum key has been produced which will be the access key for an encrypted image taken from a page of script in the commonplace book. (From a page titled the ‘History see Chronicles’.)

Quantum Key pattern applied as fritting pattern to the buildings windows.