'Twins' – Brighton, England - Atlas Obscura

Sitting just outside Brighton’s main shopping center, most people are too preoccupied to notice that the seemingly ordinary benches they are sitting on are actually two giant hypnotic radios.

These futuristic designs have become a huge part of the Brighton scenery. If those venturing by took a moment and listened very closely, they will notice strange markings and sounds emanating from within the structures. The “Twins” are actually responding to the passage of time. 

The “Twins” were installed in 1998 and created by artist Charlie Hooker. The sculptures use the passage of the sun to trigger sounds, using solar-controlled electronic devices attached to bronze plaques. The “Twins” are composed of four types of granite, each representing different seasons.

Twelve bronze plaques on the sculptures are marked with strange lines, which are actually the sun’s weather patterns from its exact location when the sculptures were created. The etchings were then digitally translated into 12 musical tracks, one for each corresponding month of the year, and can be heard if visitors sit on the ledge and listen very closely. At night, the sculptures emanate a star-shaped light.

The idea behind the sculpture was that the sounds would draw people to Churchill Square. 

Know Before You Go

Loudest on bright, sunny days.

The sculptures are between the huge shopfronts of Zara and JD Sports, on either side of a granite star set into the pavement.

Nearby North Laine and The Lanes provide a large selection of independent shops and cafes. A Fabrica art gallery just around the corner often has free art exhibits.

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