Luke Blackstone


Created for the Saddle Ridge Multi-Services Facility in Calgary, Alberta, 2010

bricks, stainless steel, air blowers, glass, crankwheels, mechanical linkages, pigment

15 ft. X 4 ft. X 15 ft.
A commonality of the three services operating in the Saddle Ridge Multi-Services Facility is the historical use of the siren as a means to alert the community. The sound of the siren is universally recognizable and is generated simply by directing a stream of air through holes that rapidly open and close. Most siren sounds today are produced electronically, but previously they were driven by electric motors or even hand-cranked. This artwork involves three aesthetic and functional sirens that invite the viewers to operate as described below. Three aluminum discs are mounted on top of the brick columns. The colour of these discs symbolically represent each of the three services: white represents the Medical Service, red represents the Fire Department, and copper represents the Police Department. Three rotating "drums" are linked by belts and pulleys to three crank-wheels mounted on the front of the brick columns. When the wheels are cranked by an interested viewers, all three discs will rotate at the same speed. The drums create air flow through the holes in the discs, creating a soft and gentle siren sound with three distinct and harmonious tones.. The mechanisms work best when all three crank-wheels are rotated by three viewers, symbolizing the need for the communitiesí involvement with this facility.  The curved sections of the stainless steel structure, along with the discs suggest the outline of three eyes; thus title for the work,Triclopse, refers to the three services relentlessly watching over the community, ready to respond to any emergency.