in between the real trees of this park in oeiras, portugal, is a metal trunk crowned with cymbals instead of leaves. the sound art installation is the work of composer and designer, victor gama. called ‘poet tree – árvore da poesia’, the structure is an interactive artwork, a living monument, and an innovative public library dedicated to contemporary poets from portuguese-speaking countries around the world.

the poet tree was commissioned for a park in oeiras, portugal

image by victor gama

 

 

the work was commissioned by the municipality of oeiras and marks part of a larger ‘tree series’ and instruments project by victor gama and his design company pangeiart. the tree is made up of 60 cymbals, each of which represents a poet from countries as diverse as brazil, angola, mozambique, portugal, guinea-bissau, cape verde, são tomé and príncipe, macau and east timor. the poet tree is activated by the wind and produces sound when the cymbals touch each other or when they are hit by raindrops.

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

each cymbal represents one of the 60 poets featured in the poet tree

image by victor gama

 

 

the poet tree captures the unique registers of voices from across the globe. the artwork crosses national borders and boundaries to share the extraordinary portuguese-language poetry that is being written today, with both online audiences and the visiting public.

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

visitors can scan a QR code with their smartphones, which takes them to an app where they can discover each poet 

image by victor gama

 

 

when visitors to the installation scan a QR code with their smartphones, they are taken to an app that lets them discover each poet by reading or listening to one of their poems. the effect is that of opening up a multiplied sense of the portuguese language that is at once humane and deeply ecological, unfamiliar and full of belonging, far-flung and very near. the tree series forms part of gama’s current focus on developing content-driven public art installations with unique mobile interactive applications.

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

on the web app, you can read or listen to selected poems from 60 spoken word artists

interface design by victor gama, webapp development by maxwell stein

 

 

the design itself pays homage to trees. living trees and ecology inspired and guided both the concept and the design process, offering unique solutions for its construction.

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

the installation is made using an aluminum and stainless steel structure, cymbals, and cymbal boom arms

image by victor gama

 

 

the load study was performed using finite element analysis. computational fluid dynamics made it possible to study the wind action on the structure and calculate its foundation. designed in CAD and using digital manufacturing technologies such as CNC tube bending and machining, the poet tree was built with a stainless steel tube structure bound together by aluminum structural components.

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

trees that inspired the design

image by victor gama

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

the poet tree was designed in CAD and used digital manufacturing technologies

image by victor gama

victor gama erects a 'poet tree' made of cymbals in oeiras, portugal designboom

the final assembly by victor gama

image by ana lúcia mendes

 

 

project info:

 

project name: poet tree – árvore da poesia

location: oeiras, portugal

artist: victor gama

text: stacy hardy

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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