Incandescent Cloud

This has been making the rounds, but with good reason!  Caitlind r.c. Brown created a cloud out of 1,000 functioning and 5,000 donated burned out light bulbs for Calgary’s Nuit Blanche. For those of you who don’t know, Nuit Blanche (All Nighter, or literally “White Night”) is an all-night public arts festival. I personally have always really been drawn to the concept of Nuit Blanches, and would love to work on one. The closest thing I personally have been to is Santa Monica’s Glow, which was wonderful and an idea I really hope to see expanded on.

In Incandescent Cloud, pull strings glimmering like rain hang from the cloud. Nuit Blanche attendees could manipulate the cloud’s luminosity using those strings, creating random small flickers singularly, or working in teams to pull the strings at the same time. It is a wondrous installation, and I’m sure must have been a blast at Nuit Blanche!

Check out some photos and video below:

H2WHOA

Ok… WOW!

Yeah. I could watch that gif all day. Implying that I haven’t been watching it all day, right? Riiiiight… *shifty eyes*

So what is this amazing thing? It’s Water Light Graffiti, a project by Antonin Fourneau with Jordan McRae and Guillaume Stagnaro. There were graffiti performances by Collectif Painthouse and the project was made at the ArtLab. Anyway, words fail… check it out! Thanks to the fabulous Fox for sharing this. Especially the video at the end of the post:

The Bay Lights

Wow! The Bay Lights proposal is one of the coolest urban public lighting proposals I’ve seen in a while. The San Francisco Bay Bridge is a massive canvas, and an unparalleled location for a lighting playground. Numerous cities have treated their bridges with light, but for some reason, this particular proposal just glows:

The Bay Lights website is absolutely worth checking out. They are also looking for support, so if you are in a position to offer any, that information is also on their website, along with multiple renderings, videos of the bridge and project supporters, and more.

OMICRON. High Speed Architainment.

I’m not really sure that I have words for the excellence that this contains.

O (Omicron) from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

Romain Tardy and Thomas Vaquié are the creating artists on this one — from the AntiVJ Blog:

Last year, we were approached to create our first permanent installation for the new museum of architecture of Hala Stulecia, in Wroclaw, Poland. The piece – that we called O (Omicron), is actually the last part of the visit, and a way to create a link between the rich history of the building and the present times, by turning this massive concrete structure into a lively architecture.

When opened, Hala Stulecia was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world. With a diameter of 65m it was home to the largest dome built since the Pantheon in Rome eighteen centuries earlier.
The Centennial Hall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

It is reasonable to think that when Hala Stulecia was built in 1913 Max Berg’s ambition for his construction was to pass the test of time. What could have been his vision of the monument in the distant future? How did he imagine the olding of the materials? The evolution of the surrounding urbanism and populations?

The piece proposed for the Centennial Hall of Wroclaw is based around the notion of timelessness in architecture, and the idea of what future has meant throughout the 20th century.

Taking the 1910’s as a starting point (the dome was erected in 1913), historical and artistic references were used to reveal the architecture of the space, its timeless and, more surprisingly, very modern dimension.

This building is called the Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall); it’s a Max Berg structure, built when the German Empire was still owner of the city of Wrocław.  Here’s the structure in a way that makes us lighting designers more comfortable, with truss and chain motors in it:

This building is amazing:

When opened, Hala Stulecia was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world. With a diameter of 65m it was home to the largest dome built since the Pantheon in Rome eighteen centuries earlier. The Centennial Hall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Taking the 1910’s as a starting point (the dome was erected in 1913), historical and artistic references were used to reveal the architecture of the space, its timeless and, more surprisingly, very modern dimension.

A deliberately minimalist visual aesthetic allowed to highlight the very architecture of Hala Stulecia’s dome and re-affirm its place at the core of the piece.

Check out the “Making Of” video, too — below:

O (Omicron) / Making of from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

Thanks, We Waste Time!  You guys are one of my favorite blogs lately!

Jeff Dah-Yue Shi Says “PSYCH! That’s Not a Wall, It’s a Light!”

That’s right mophos, I’m bringing it back.  PSYCH!

So, I think I had a dream about this the other night, but it might have been from the package of ridiculance I had before I went to sleep.  This is awesome — Jeff Dah-Yue Shi takes the idea of the ol’ Q-Bert pattern and turns it into walls in a room.  Can you say RHOMBUSES?!

PSYCH!

Here’s the man himself talking about the installation — check it out!


That light there in the last image is amazing, check it out.  It’s magnetic, and can be placed anywhere in the room:

Jeff’s design was for the Taiwan Design Center, which is a pretty cool concept, check out the website.  It’s promoting design and designers from Taiwan.

The way these bamboo LED walls are made is pretty interesting too.  From the article at MyModernMet:

To create these beautiful lights, Dah-Yue Shi placed LEDs behind the bases of each rhombus. On top of the LEDs is a layer of tempered glass with a thin application of bamboo veneer. This allows for the lights to shine through while also blending into the patterns around it. Because of both the patterns and shifts in color, a three dimensional optical illusion is created. This type of lighting system is designed to be used anywhere like clubs, offices, and even homes.

Really cool!  Great work, Jeff!

Here’s the lights off, at 60%, and full:

Thanks to Inhabitat and MyModernMet for the images, and DesignBoom!

Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego?

STORY TIME! Try to guess where in the world Lumen Sandiego is, and learn about some RE-DONK-U-LOUS-LY cool lighting art at the same time!

Some years ago, I travelled to an “Art Island,” which hosts work by some very spectacular artists, including Claude Monet, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Tadao Ando, Yves Klein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and most importantly for this post, James Turrell between its public art, museums, and hotel.

One museum is located underground, lit via sky lights and windows. I had just taken my first ever lighting design class, and was seeing lighting design everywhere in so much depth it was a little ridiculous (see definition for: obsession). There I saw my first piece by James Turrell, his “Afrum, Pale Blue” (1968). Seeing a piece of art made entirely of light and location impacted me, its simplicity as its strength.

The next piece of his I saw was “Open Field” (2000). There was a guide, who motioned for us to remove our shoes, and I filed in to a line with some other patrons. I felt ritual saturating the room, as we were asked to mount the stairs. We reached the top step, and stood facing the wall, and the flat expanse of uniform blue light directly in front of us. It was the flawless, the smoothest, most perfect panel of light I had seen.

Then my mind was blown.

The guide directed asked us to enter. I suppose he must have motioned, because I don’t believe I spoke the language quite good enough to have understood. I was baffled. I knew I was staring at what I could only assume is the most flawlessly backlit piece of frosted plexi ever. There was nothing to enter. If I stepped forward, I would hit the wall and have humiliated myself, and the polite people in line with me. However, we trusted the guide, and stepped in to the wall.

Wow.

It was not a wall, but a vast blue void.

Inside, to the camera, it looks like this:

But to human eyes, it looks like this:

I was in an entirely different plane, I was in flatland, I was up against a wall, I was in infinity…

Long story short, James Turrell’s work is CA-RAY-ZAY! We wandered the blue space, exploring its limits, exploring ours, before we finally walked down the steps and put our shoes back on.

 

***

 

This was my introduction to the Light and Space movement. This art movement originated in the 1960s in Southern California. It used light as an integral medium, and focused on creating “perceptual phenomena.”

Why does this matter to us as lighting designers, technicians, or light lovers? Well, let’s just ask trusty ol’ Wikipedia what the Light and Space movement involved, shall we?

Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials, Light and Space artists made the spectator’s experience of light and other sensory phenomena under specific conditions the focus of their work.

BOOM. In that one sentence, light was referenced 5 times. That’s more than your average show review. So clearly, these artists have found a way to make one hell of an impact via light. I will speak more about Light and Space movement in the next “Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego?” and give more examples of how they expertly manipulate light, but let’s keep this first installation short… QUIZ TIME!

 

Where do you think I was? I kept it very easy as this is the first installation of “Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego,” so enjoy the feat of victory while you still can! Post a comment, or I’ll reveal next time. Have a tip for a spectacular location of light “Lumen Sandiego” should visit? Submit your tip to daphne (at) jimonlight.com or via the contact form.

 

Photographs from Mitsumasa Fujisuka

 

Interactive Light at Miami-Dade Government Center

Ivan Toth Depeña has made some pretty incredible displays in his career thus far.  One beautiful and fun example would be the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places commission that Ivan did for the Miami0Dade Government Center.  Check this out:

From Ivan’s Vimeo page on the installation:

MIAMI, FL – Ivan Toth Depeña’s light-based installation “Reflect” was permanently installed in the Stephen Clark Government Center Lobby in Miami on November 18, 2011. Commissioned by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places initiative, the work illuminates the dynamism of the lobby space and encourages a sense of discovery in the visitors.

This dynamic art work is designed by the artist with the idea of welcoming visitors and employees to Government Center in a fun and interactive way,” said Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs. “It will energize the lobby and symbolize the County’s commitment to be informative and responsive to our citizens.”

As a main stop in Miami’s MetroRail system, the space serves as a hub for commuters; incorporating the notion of daily circulation into his piece, Depeña uses sensors and light to focus on the communal nature and circulatory qualities of the lobby. The project engages the building’s visitors and references the idea of community through various means of reflection, group interactivity and high-tech playfulness.

For more information please visit: ivandepena.com

Commissioned by: Miami-Dade Art in Public Places:

Additional Project Support:

Lighting Consultant and Programming Support: Focus Lighting

With generous support by: Color Kinetics

Music: Duster

Isn’t it amazing that this kind of art can be made in the same place that bands of neo-Nazis are patrolling the streets?  Blows the mind.

.PSLAB and “Streetlights” Shines in Berlin

One of my favorite lighting design firms, .PSLAB out of Beirut (and Stuttgart now too!), had an excellent installation last month in Berlin that needs some attention!  .PSLAB has had lots of projects covered here on JimOnLight.com, frankly because they have a lot of awesome projects!  This new one is no exception.  It debuted in Berlin last month at the Qubique Next-Generation Tradeshow – which, may I add, looks amazing!  Before we get to the .PSLAB exhibit at Qubique, just check out this short video on the Qubique show itself.  Amazing!

Right?! I wanna go do more German tradeshows!  Qubique was held in an old Berlin airport that stopped being an airport in 2008 – Berlin Templehof.  .PSLAB’s exhibit was installed in the airport as a part of a centerpiece/gathering place.

Check out .PSLAB’s “Streetlights” exhibit that took place at Qubique – Streetlights is an exhibit made from…  oh heck, from the PSLAB information on Streetlights, they tell it better than me!  It’s interesting, this Streetlights exhibit – actually debuted a little while ago with a project done with Dos Architects in London.  The original:

The ‘Streetlights’ installation is made of 220 vintage car headlamps suspended to the ceiling and giving a sense of floating. For the Qubique site, the linearity of the space was emphasised by the hanging fixture. The vast 15 metre ceiling height was counteracted by dropping the fixture to 3.5 metres above the ground, creating an intimate meeting place around the brasserie bar. The steel pipes that make up the grid were placed at intervals, two or three pipes separated by gaps, in order to let the installation form a certain rhythm while creating a second ceiling layer in the bar area. 

From the .PSLAB documentation on the installation – a bit of a site map:

Ok.  It’s cool – check it:

I love your work, .PSLAB!

Oklahoma City National Memorial at Night – A Photo Tour

This has to be said – if you want to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the best time to get the best experience is after the Sun sets.

For almost 1.25 years now I have lived directly across the street from the Oklahoma City National Memorial – the site of the Murrah Building bombing by now dead bad guy Timothy McVeigh.  I have watched people go in and out of this site, at all times of day or night (I myself have been there at 3:45am and 1am, as I don’t sleep much), in all kinds of weather.  The memorial is incredible pretty much any time I set my eyes on it.

During the day, the sun plays on the shapes and structures made by the memorial chairs, and the trees take care of giving the entire site a nice textured light to soften the reality of why the site is there.  At night though, the Memorial grounds are transformed; there is no longer a need to see everything.  The soft light and the directional path on which your eye is taken leads to the most pertinent areas of the memorial, from the field of empty chairs at night, each with an illuminated lower section, to the Survivor Tree, where you are given yet another view of the field of chairs.  To me, I feel the most solemn when visiting the memorial at night.  Obviously though, I’m a lighting designer, and I could find the emotion in a stray beam of light that came from some intergalactic star burp.

Just as a quick spatial guide, as you are at the memorial, if you enter and are standing looking with the chairs on the left or right, you are looking down Fifth Street.  FIfth used to run continuously between Classen and I-235, but the Memorial now sits at the spot of the bombing.  The chairs you will see are located where the building used to sit, and the chairs represent people killed in the explosion.  To be quite honest, I don’t know if you’re supposed to go onto the grassy area where the chairs are, but I just had to be close enough to pay my respects to the victims.  I also went at night though, I didn’t want to cause a bother.

Here are the chairs and the grounds from the building directly across the street from where the Murrah Building once stood:

You’ll notice in the image above that there are two arches that stop Fifth Street – one that says 9:01, and the other that says 9:03.  These are the Gates of Time.  At the eastern most side of the Memorial is 9:01 – the minute before the bombing, where life as we knew it was one way.  The bombing occurred at 9:02am, which is represented by the large reflecting pool and I believe the Memorial itself.  9:03, at the western most end of the Memorial, is where we now know life to be – after the bombing, after the death, after the bomber’s death.

Here’s the same view from my apartment, but in the evening:

What a beautiful memorial – you must commend the designers of this memorial, Hans and Torrey Butzer and Sven Berg, for their wonderful use of the night and the light in their design.

Below is a Gallery View of the photos – if you click on any one thumbnail, it will open the series in Gallery format for your enjoyment!  I have given each titles and some descriptions to give you bearing as you navigate through the set.

Thank you so much to the Oklahoma City National Memorial website and Wikipedia.

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Vicki DaSilva’s REVERB – Able Fine Art, New York City Until August 30

Do you all know who Vicki DaSilva is?  I’ve written about Vicki a few times, she is a stellar and quite lovely light artist out of the NYC area.

Vicki’s got a new show open right now at the Able Fine Art Studios in NYC – a combination of light, commentary, and message, all mixed into a series of photographs called Reverb.  Vicki’s work has many layers, sometimes sweeping breaths of light that are guided by Vicki’s steady hand onto the photograph, sometimes quickly scribed words etched into the night air.  I love painting with light, it is such a process, like stone carving – except within the rigid structure of the stone, you must carve accurately with your light chisel in the darkness, leaving behind only that which will sustain – the mark of light.

Reverb has some pretty excellent works in it – I’m not gonna spoil it for you, but there are a few of my favorites…

Never Sorry – for Ai Weiwei:

Slalom #1:

If you’re in NYC, go check out Vicki DaSilva’s Reverb.  It’s at Able Fine Art until August 30, 2011.  Go support light art!