Media architect Claudio Benghi and light artist Gloria Ronchi joined together in 2006 to form Aether & Hemera, an interdisciplinary collaboration that seeks “to research the aesthetic challenges of light and its power to trigger emotions and response, creating a sense of identity or setting a mood.” Their latest installation in London’s Canary Wharf is this beautiful fleet of 300 illuminated boats called Voyage. Each floating light is reminiscent of a paper-folded origami boat that is illuminated from within, and I’m told there is a wireless network in the vicinity that allows you to join with your mobile device and somehow alter the color of the entire installation.
Voyage will be up through February 15th, 2013, and while the lights are on during the day, the viewing is probably best at night. I want to thank photographers Sean Batten and Ian Docwra for providing the images for this post.
I’m a huge fan of alternative Christmas trees in urban centers, from last year’s plastic bottle tree in Lithuania to the abstract tree currently up in Brussels, any idea seems better than heading out to the local forest and hacking down a pine tree older than my grandparents. This year in Hasselt, Belgium a pair from the design firm Mooz created this concept of an enormous tree covered in 5,000 pieces of ceramic donated from local residents. Called the “Taste Tree” the piece was meant to be a sort of communal celebration as residents were invited to contribute unused dishes to the tree that now stands nearly 30 ft. tall in Hassel’s main square. (via designboom)
As part of the 2012 Archstoyanie festival in Nikola-Lenivets, Russia (from what I can tell it’s kind of like a small version of Burning Man but… with architecture and forests) design firm Salto created this gargantuan trampoline installation called Fast Track. Measuring nearly 170 ft. (51 meters) the bouncy road is nearly the length of a city block. According to the designers:
“Fast track” is a integral part of park infrastructure, it is a road and an installation at the same time. It challenges the concept of infrastructure that only focuses on technical and functional aspects and tends to be ignorant to its surroundings. “Fast track” is an attempt to create intelligent infrastructure that is emotional and corresponds to the local context. It gives the user a different experience of moving and percieving the environment.
Personally I sense the seeds of a new olympic sport, or a solid replacement for the slow people movers in airports. Here’s some more photos from Archstoyanie 2012. (via knstrct and notcot)
Since 2002 artist, dancer and choreographer William Forsythe has traveled with his audio/visual installation Scattered Crowd, created with thousands of suspended balloons in galleries, museums, banks and other architecturally significant spaces. Though the photos clearly do the work visual justice I think it’s hard to truly appreciate the full sensory experience without walking through the space itself and hearing the accompanying music by Ekkehard Ehlers, though the video gives you some idea. Forsythe refers to the work as being “an air-borne landscape of relationship, of distance, of humans and emptiness, of coalescence and decision”. The piece will next appear at Bockenheimer Depot in 2013. (via boingboing)
Huge mounds of firewood are a common site here in the midwest, but in the capable hands of Michigan artist Michael McGillis a row of logs becomes a unexpectedly beautiful sight. Titled Wake the piece was originally installed back in 2006 at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95-foot long trench of cut trees painted purple in the middle as if to reveal a suprising new species of plant. A simple idea, wonderfully executed. (via my darkened eyes)
What at first looks like an experiment in a psychedelic Petri dish is actually an installation by artist Ambreen Butt using hundreds of cast pink fingers and toes made of resin that seem to explode on the walls at Carroll and Sons in Boston. Titled I Am My Lost Diamond the piece will be up through December 22. All photographs courtesy Andrew Katz at New American Paintings.
From the kabillions of likes on YouTube and Tumblr this project has apparently circumnavigated the internet already, but for some reason it’s been entirely off the Colossal radar. A collaborative installation between Mike O’Toole, Andrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas and Andrew Witte, the Waterfall Swing is an intelligent swingset made from mechanical waterjets (solenoids) that create a falling plane of water in the path of the swinger. However just as the rider reaches the rainfall the water parts briefly ensuring nary a drop dampens their swinging. The swing was unveiled at the 2011 World Maker Faire, and you can find additional videos and specifications to build your own here, and for more intelligent rainfall goodness checkout the Rain Room. Photos above courtesy Paul Sobota.
A few days ago I stopped by Carrie Secrist Gallery here in Chicago to discover a new thread installation from Kansas City-based artist Anne Lindberg (previously) called Zip Drawing. The piece was created by stapling taunt strands of Egyptian cotton thread in a meticulous yet seemingly haphazard fashion between opposing gallery walls resulting in an ethereal field of suspended color. Although these photos by Derek Porter do a great job of conveying the hue and scale of the piece (35 feet at its widest) it’s hard to feel the magnitude and energy of the piece without standing right in front of it. Stop by if you can, the exhibition runs through October 20 and also includes a number of her colored pencil drawings.