French artist and photographer Charles Pétillion has just unveiled a cumulus cloud composed of 100,000 white balloons illuminated from the inside at London’s Covent Garden. Titled ‘Hearbeat,’ the installation was created as part of the upcoming London Design Festival and stretches the length of the South Hall ceiling of the Market Building. Pétillion is known for his use of white balloons to fill unusual spaces, a photographic series he refers to as Invasions. This is by far his largest installation to date and his first public art piece. He shares about Heartbeat:
The balloon invasions I create are metaphors. Their goal is to change the way in which we see the things we live alongside each day without really noticing them. With Heartbeat I wanted to represent the Market Building as the beating heart of this area – connecting its past with the present day to allow visitors to re-examine its role at the heart of London’s life.
Each balloon has its own dimensions and yet is part of a giant but fragile composition that creates a floating cloud above the energy of the market below. This fragility is represented by contrasting materials and also the whiteness of the balloons that move and pulse appearing as alive and vibrant as the area itself.
The installation will be on view through September 27, 2015, and you can watch a timelapse video of its construction and an interview with Pétillion below. (via Designboom)
At 42x the size of a traditional ‘Light-Brite’ toy, the Everbright by San Francisco-based Hero Design is a huge grid of adjustable LEDs for drawing with light. But instead of only a limited selection of individual colors, the Everbright relies on 464 dials that change in hue as you twist them, offering almost unlimited color possibilities when creating designs. When you’re done drawing, the entire board resets to a blank canvas with the press of a single button. While fully interactive, it also comes pre-programmed with several animations that can play when not in use.
You can learn more about Everbright here, and it looks like this has already moved beyond a concept and the devices are now available for sale. (via Designboom, Neatorama)
One hundred miles of twine compose this public sculpture of suspended netting above Boston, a structure that spans the void of an elevated highway that once split downtown Boston from its waterfront. The artist, Janet Echelman (previously), designed the artwork titled As If It Were Already Here to reflect the history of the installation’s location. Echelman also intended the piece to be a visual metaphor—a way to “visually knit together the fabric of the city with art,” she explains.
The installation is 600 feet at its widest, including over 500,000 knots for structural support. Each time one section of the sculpture sways or vibrates in the wind the other parts follow suit, undulating as a single form 600 feet in the sky. As the day progresses the 1,000-pound structure’s webbed surface begins to glow, becoming a beacon in the sky rather than blending into the blue above it. In addition to moving with the wind, the structure also glows in response to sensors that register tension and project light onto the sculpture.
As If It Were Already Here is just one of Echelman’s enormous sculptures, she’s also installed pieces in Montreal, Seattle, and elsewhere. Echelman received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harvard University Loeb Fellowship, a Fulbright Lectureship, and was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” You can see Echelman speak about her other environmentally-responsive sculptures in her TED talk here. (via Beautiful Decay)
First the sea gave birth to life. Now, thanks to a trio of Philippine-based inventors, it is giving birth to light as well. Led by engineer Lipa Aisa Mijena, the team has developed a lamp that’s capable emitting light for 8 hours on just 1 cup of saltwater. Not only are the Philippines prone to natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes but the country is made up of over 7,000 islands, most of which do not have access to electricity, says the team. But one thing they do have is the sea, an abundant source of saltwater that can now be used to light homes and, in emergencies, power cell phones.
The saltwater-powered lamp uses the same science that forms the basis of battery-making. Where they differ from batteries is that the entire reaction is safe and harmless. Moreover, there are no flammable materials or components that go into lamp. Used 8 hours a day, every day, the team says the lamp can provide light for 6 months (or even over a year if used more efficiently) without having to replace any parts.
Over the past year or so SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) has won 7 different sustainability and entrepreneurial awards. If interested, you can enter your name and email on their website to receive product updates but right now the team is focusing on building lamps for their target communities. (via Web Urbanist)
This exceedingly clever animation by artist Alan Warburton transforms two compositions from J.S. Bach’s The Well Tempered Clavier (Prelude and Fugue in C Major) into a visual interpretation of music. Warburton used a form of graphical notation manifested as thousands of fluorescent light bulbs mounted around a gallery space and parking garage. As each light pops on in sync with the music, the bulb shape correlates with with length and pitch of each note.
You can learn more about how Warburton and a team of programmers and sound designers created the piece over on Sinfini Music who commissioned the piece. Music performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Over the last year, French artist Julien Salaud has installed several new works as part of his “Stellar Cave” series involving elaborate thread drawings illuminated by ultraviolet light. The polygonal depictions of people, animals, and zoomorphic figures are meant to evoke the idea of star constellations with allusions to mythology and mysticism. Salaud works with cotton thread coated in ultraviolet paint wrapped around precisely placed nails on ceilings or gallery walls. One of his largest installations, Stellar Cave IV, was recently on view at the Hezliya Museum of Contemporary Art. More on Facebook. (via My Modern Met)
“New Light on Rome 2000”. Aula of Trajan’s Markets, Rome 112 AD, in spectrum sunlight. Materials: sunlight, laser cut prisms.
In the late 1980s American artist Peter Erskine began to incorporate sunlight into his artistic practice through the use of strategically placed laser-cut prisms in both modern and historical sites. A hybrid of both art and architecture, he explores the way light falls on varying surfaces and brings new meaning to existing places. Erskine says the intent of his light installations is to use “the emotional impact of art to address the full range of nature from its most elemental expression as pure light to its most complex expression as global ecology.” You can explore more of his work with light over the last 30 years on his website. (via Arpeggia)
Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, “Sun Moon and Stars”, Rainbow sundial calendar “Spectrum of Time”, and Solar powered solar art with heliostat “Sunrise”, permanent installations. / Ballymena, N. Ireland. ECOS Environmental Centre. Interior “Rainbow Sundial Calendar”. Opened 8.2000, permanent installation.