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.
In what may be one of the most ground-breaking developments in creating artificial sunlight, a group of Italian scientists recently announced CoeLux, a new kind of skylight that perfectly mimics the feel of daylight. The creator’s claim the system is so effective that it tricks unknowing individuals into thinking they are looking up at the actual sun.
The inventors are somewhat tight-lipped about how CoeLux works, but it involves filtering a light source through a layer of nanoparticles that mimic Earth’s atmosphere. Because of this, not only does the color match sunshine but the quality does as well. In the photos above—which CoeLux insists aren’t digitally altered—you can get an idea of how realistic the light is, and see it in action in the video.
The light is currently available in three different configurations that mimic sunlight at different points on the globe including tropical, mediterranean, and nordic environments. Applications for CoeLux might involve anywhere light is scarce, from extreme environments like scientific outposts to underground parking garages or even in hospitals. You can see more on their website. (via PetaPixel)
Silver Insecta Lamp, 2013. Metallic material, machinery, electronic device (cpu board, motor, led), resin, magnet. 16 1/2 × 9 1/10 × 14 3/5 in. Courtesy of the artist and GALLERY HYUNDAI, Seoul.
Gold Insecta Lamp, 2013. Metallic material, machinery, electronic device (cpu board, motor, led), resin, magnet. 16 1/2 × 9 1/10 × 14 3/5 in. Courtesy of the artist and GALLERY HYUNDAI, Seoul.
Korean sculptor U-Ram Choe (previously) builds kinetic sculptures embedded with CPUs, motors, and LEDs that appear to be equal parts organism and artwork. Seen here are two of his smallest works to date, a pair of insect-like lamps aptly titled Silver Insecta Lamp and Gold Insecta Lamp. When switched on, the lamps reveal an ornate set of five wing-like appendages that cycle through a gentle flapping motion. You can see how they work in the video above. All photos courtesy Gallery Hyundai. (via Artsy)