Here, at SFXC we are continually amazed by the far reaching and innovative uses and applications for our colour changing products, never more so than when we were approached by The Tate Modern mid last year to tackle a very ambitious and unprecedented application for world-renowned Cuban installation and performance artist Tanya Bruguera, we of course, took up the challenge and for a few months immersed ourselves in the exciting world of modern art!
The challenge was our biggest yet, to produce a colour changing floor for the Tate moderns gargantuan turbine hall, gulp! all 200,000 square feet of it, this was going to take enormous volumes of product and a many, many hours of reasearch and military planning. Firstly we had to consider the fact that over the 6 months that the installation would be installed at the Tate modern an estimated 1 million visitors would pass through this area of this world class gallery, not only passing through, but visitors would also be sitting on it, laying on it, touching it, scuffing it, rolling around on it and anything the public could think of.
This floor had to be tough and hardwearing in the extreme, not only did we have to think about the long-term durability but we also had to consider the change in temperature from autumn into winter and the changes of temperature the floor would experience, from the atmospheric temperatures within the cathedral like void of The Turbine Hall itself but also the temperatures within the substrate of the Turbine Hall floor, concrete, cold concrete, our work had only just begun.
We travelled regularly to our amazing capital city of London for research, development and implementation meetings with the wonderful team at The Tate Modern and with Tania Bruguerra, who's brainchild this was, together we explored several colour changing ideas before finally choosing one, Thermochromic which would react at a 'touch temperature'.
Back at SFXC headquarters on the sleepy East Sussex coast we began testing, test upon test, late nights and early mornings until finally we have produced a product everyone was in agreement with, a Thermochromic colour changing floor that responded to body temperature. The particular Thermochromic ink we used reacts to a mid range activation and when touched with body temperature heat the ink clears to show what lies underneath it, concealed. Tania's idea was to have only one large image to 'reveal' and this would be achieved by people working together as a group using the heat from their bodies.