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Art

Lights and Painted Blocks of Color Intersect in a Perspective-Bending Installation by Luftwerk

August 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Luftwerk, shared with permission

A deceptively trippy installation by Chicago-based duo Luftwerk (previously) immerses viewers in a distorted environment of color and sound. Relying entirely on physical properties for its illusions, Open Square connects two spaces that are painted with clean, angled blocks of color in cool and warm tones. Prismatic LED lights flash across the rooms, skewing their boundaries and creating perpetually changing settings that appear to emerge and fade over time.

The abstract installation is part of Factory Installed 2021, a group exhibition at Mattress Factory on view now through November 14. One of five projects, Luftwerk’s Open Square transforms the historic building into a kaleidoscopic experience that’s “designed to mesmerize and shed the outside world, holding limitless possibilities for exploration,” a statement says. “Developed throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020, the exhibition reflects on the habitat that defines our everyday experience.”

Artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero are behind Luftwerk, and you can explore more of their site-specific installations on their site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Color-Changing Canopies Glow with LED Lights in a Fantastical Meadow in San Francisco

May 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Entwined Meadow” at Golden Gate Park. All images © Charles Gadeken, shared with permission. Photo by Allen Mort

Charles Gadeken’s “Entwined Meadow” converted an outdoor greenspace at Golden Gate Park into an enchanted grove of color-changing light. Branching 30 feet across in thick canopies, three metal trees and scattered shrubbery populated the whimsical garden that merged nature and technology to create an otherworldly environment. Thousands of flickering LED cubes topped the plant forms, which stood as high as 20 feet, casting Park Meadow in a kaleidoscopic glow.

“Entwined Meadow” recently closed at the San Francisco space, although Gadeken says the installation might make another appearance at the location in the future. See more views of the illuminated project, in addition to an archive of the Bay Area artist’s light-based works, on Instagram.

 

Photo by Jason Chinn

Photo by Jonathan Condit

Photo by Jason Chinn

 

 



Design

Six Students Design Solar-Powered Lamps From Collagen, Black Beans, and Agave Plants

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Six lamps designed by Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey students

A 2019 study notes that 1.8 million residents of Mexico live without electricity, while some sources say an additional five million have limited access. In an effort to provide affordable, sustainable solar power, six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey have designed lamps that can be constructed easily with materials commonly found throughout Mexico’s rural areas. Using wicker, agave plants, coconut bark, adobe, collagen, and black beans, the designers have created hand-held vessels powered by reusable solar cells and LED lights.

Inspired by artist Olafur Eliasson’s (previously) similarly sustainable Little Sun, Moisés Hernández, who led the project,  told Dezeen that students were tasked with creating lamps with easily reproducible exteriors. “With these new material ideas that came from different sites across Mexico, where the weather and context are so different, the students visualized new scenarios where these type of technological objects can be assembled and distributed to local people,” Hernández said. When the lamps need to be replaced, users simply can remove the solar and LED components and position them in new vessels.

 

Black bean lamp by Oscar Andrés Méndez Hernández

Adobe, recycled paper, and cactus slime lamp by Luis Fernando Sánchez Barrios

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

Lamp of wicker made by craftsmen in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, designed by Aniela Mayte Guerrero Hernández

A lamp of collagen spread over a coconut shell form by Naoto Ricardo Kobayashi Utsumoto

Agave-plant waste lamp by Viridiana Palma Dominguez

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

 

 



Photography

The Ever-Present Glow of LED Greenhouses Documented by Aerial Photographer Tom Hegen

October 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Tom Hegen, shared with permission of the artist

German photographer Tom Hegen, who specializes in aerial photography, recently traveled to the Netherlands to document the country’s LED greenhouses. The greenhouses were developed as a response to the small country’s growing need for food both within its own borders and to the international market. Dutch exporters are second only to the U.S. industry for global food exports as measured by value. Although the greenhouses offer incredible efficiency in their design, cultivating food year-round through high temperatures and humidity levels, their round-the-clock use also gives off a great deal of light pollution. Hegen flew in a helicopter at night to capture the yellow and purple glow that the greenhouses give off, their geometric planes of illumination standing out from the dark atmosphere.

The photographer tells Colossal that his work centers around the topic of the Anthropocene (the era of human influence on Earth’s biological, geological, and atmospheric processes). “In my photography, I explore the origin and scale of that idea in an effort to understand the dimensions of man’s intervention in natural spaces and to direct attention toward how humans can take responsibility.” Hegen explains that aerial photography in particular helps convey the Anthropocene because it shows the dimensions and scale of human impact more effectively.

“I am also fascinated by the abstraction that comes with the change of perspective; seeing something familiar from a new vantage point that you are not used to,” Hegen tells Colossal. “I use abstraction and aestheticization as a language to inspire people and also to offer the viewer a connection to the subject as they need to decode what they are looking at.”

In 2018 Hegen published his first aerial photo book, HABITAT, and next year he will start working on a follow-up, the artist shares with Colossal. Keep up with Hegen’s travels and latest projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

A Towering Multi-Chromatic Tapestry of Giant Inflated Tubes Unveiled by Pneuhaus

June 24, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Pneuhaus (previously) builds inflatable structures and environments that give their audience a new perspective of the world around them. Recently, the Rhode Island-based design collective honored Providence’s history of textile manufacturing with a piece titled Pnit. The large-scale piece is illuminated by LED lights, and presents a macro exploration of a knitted form. Inflatable tubes cycle and out of each other along the wall of a concrete parking garage as they slowly rotate through different shades of yellows, greens, purples, and pinks.

“In our practice we push the boundaries of textile-based construction and so the image of the knitting swatch is also an ode to our love of fabrics, flexibility, and the strength of soft things,” Pneuhaus tells Colossal. “Pnit demonstrates these same qualities of textiles through its calligraphic curves and its weather ready durability.”

The installation was created for Providence’s art festival PVDFest, and will continuously introduce new color patterns throughout its five-month run. You can see a video of the color-changing tapestry in the video below, and view more work by Pneuhaus, such as their 2018 geodesic pinhole camera, on their website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Nine Satellite-Shaped LED Installations Visualize the Moon's Phases

January 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Nine rotating LED works light up the sky with full, waxing, and waning phases of the moon in a new installation by Taipei-based arts studio Whyixd. The work, #define Moon_, is installed on the campus of National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and provides a completely different visual experience depending on the angle. Utilizing motors, the LED lights spin to create each shape, providing a kinetic element to the satellite-shaped structures.

The name of the project, “#define Moon_” is based off of the computer directive “#define.” The underscore denotes a part of uncompleted code, thus asking the viewer to create their own interpretation of how the installation, or moon itself, serves as a contemporary influence. You can see other kinetic light installations by the art collective, such as their Shanghai-based whirling light installation Dandelion, on their website, Instagram, and Youtube. (via designboom)

 

 

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