Tree of Light | Central Library Atlanta
Atlanta, the City in a Forest, is a place of deep roots and rich history.
As a gathering place for knowledge, this library serves as its heart – its modern Tree of Science – drawing in its community and branching out to others.
Tree of Light is a poem of light expressing interconnected ideas of our appreciation of trees. A sculpture made of text inscribed mirror discs arranged like the leaves on a tree while referencing Marcel Breuer’s original quartet of skylights: four circles of light, poised in the corners of a square.
The words engraved on the discs are a product of the community, collected through a process of word play and arranged by Atlanta based poet Valerie Respress.
*The Tree of Science, written in 1295 by mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull, was an early version of an encyclopedia format aimed to inform the general public.
Requiem: A White Wanderer
Requiem: A White Wanderer is an ongoing investigation into the rapid disintegration of the Antarctic ice shelf. Inspired by Larsen-C, a 120-mile long crack along the Antarctic ice shelf that broke into a trillion-ton iceberg in 2017, White Wanderer translates seismic data from an ailing iceberg, connecting this remote place to an emotional artistic experience to deepen public understanding of the connection between climate change and sea level rise.
A musical performance developed in collaboration with Katherine Young Composition by KATHERINE YOUNG; Musicians MYRA HINRICHS (violin); MIN PARK (violin); ALEXANDER ELLSWORTH (cello); LIA KOHL (cello) ; ANTON HATWICH (bass); JENNA LYLE (vocals); RYAN PACKARD (percussion).
An immersive sound installation amplified from the latticed Jay Pritzker Pavilion sound system will allow audiences to experience the way aquatic animals, like whales, might experience a calving iceberg, with the sounds of its disintegration reverberating throughout the ocean.
In partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Experimental Sound Studio.
Occurrence of Light | Calgary
Inspired by the aurora borealis, the phenomena of colored lights shimmering across the night sky, Occurrence of Light mimics the cosmic event. At once a static sculpture and a dynamic composition, the piece is enlivened with compressed rhythms of fluid imagery.
The video imagery — computer manipulated light refractions in water — is connected to live streaming data of the region’s geomagnetic activity, which influences the speed and color palette of the video.
The data is provided by the Aurorawatch service and the CARISMA magnetometer network, both of which are operated by the Space Physics group at the University of Alberta. CARISMA is part of the
“Geospace Observatory” program funded by the Canadian Space Agency.
Solarise | Garfield Park Conservatory
Solarise: A Sea of All Colors, 2015
Garfield Park Conservatory is lauded as one of the great architectural masterpieces in Chicago. Completed in 1907 by the famed landscaped architect Jens Jenson this revolutionary building opened as the largest conservatory in the world. The glass structure contains distinct gardens connected by a series of contiguous pathways runnning throughout the space. Majestic gardens present both contemporary and prehistoric plants in this vibrant environment. In 2011, a storm caused significant damaged to the glass building and the plants within the conservatory.
As part of an effort to raise awareness and draw public attention to the conservatory and rehabilitation efforts, Luftwerk was commissioned to create a series of year-long installations throughout the conservatory. Solarise: A Sea of All Colors contained five distinct installations; each in a different garden, developed with a distinct point of view to frame, highlight, and interpret important elements of the garden.
Perception of color by plants varies greatly from humans. Through photosynthesis of the light spectrum, plants only register two colors: blue as the direction for growth and red as an indication to bloom. Florescence reflected this phenomenon in a canopy of 880 blue and red translucence petal shapes in the Show House of the conservatory. This canopy was activated by light shining through the glass ceiling. Throughout the day, the rising and setting of the sun resulted in a series of colored shadows cast across the floor and the plants below; a visual abstraction of this plant process.
Seed of Light
Seed of Light highlighted the simple essence of water. The kinetic chandelier of lit acrylic circular trays reflected water ripples from single drops of water falling onto the trays. As drops of water hit the tray beneath the light shining on the chandelier cast sparkling shadows from these ripples across the floor of the conservatory. The circular geometry of the sculpture was inspired by the universal symbol of creation, the Flower of Life.
Developed as both an installation and performance, Prismatic was an abstract interpretation of the geometry within desert plants. This series of five rotated and extended triangular acrylic frames appeared to hover above the cacti in the garden. In the day, the interaction of the sunlight shining through the glass roof with acrylic spokes refracted and cast unique light shapes throughout the garden. In the evening, Prismatic was illuminated by pin-spot LED lighting, casting rainbows across the conservatory’s Desert House. An original music composition by Owen Clayton Condon used cacti from the conservatory’s collection and accompanied the suspended sculpture.
The Beacon welcomes evening visitors to the Conservatory. LED nodes line and highlight the vertical structure of the glass building. The nodes translate a live data feed gauging the course and speed of wind passing through Chicago in a dynamic display. This visual interpretation abstracts data to highlight the natural environment surrounding the unique ecosystem of nature within the Conservatory. Developed as a permanent installation, this permanent piece leaves a mark of the Solarise exhibition.
CS Modern Interiors
New Media Caucus—College Art Association
Condé Nast Traveler
The Architect’s Newspaper
Time Out Chicago
Chicago Reader | People Issue 2015
The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studio
Turning Sky | The 606
In 2015, a disused train line running through Chicago’s west side opened as an elevated trail named the 606 to the public. The 606 was conceived as a living work of art with plans to integrate temporary and permanent installations throughout the functional trail.
Turning Sky is a lighting station, located at the Milwaukee Ave intersection on the 606 that visualizes ephemeral conditions of the city: the local weather and atmospheric conditions on the trail. Highlighting the physical infrastructure of the trail, LED light nodes trace the suspension cables on a bridge and transmit information through colored lights. This installation is both a visually compelling and informative. Adding dynamism and more light to the trail, the LED lights also transmit real time information. Over time, the information it transmits will change—the inaugural display reflected wind patterns and speed, with future plans to visualize real time air quality for nearby residents.
Using data from The Array of Things, an urban sensing project in Chicago, Turning Sky is able to visualize and communicate conditions of the city. The partnership between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the City of Chicago has placed data collection nodes throughout the city and was developed to better understand, serve, and improve the city through this data. While the collected data is free and open to the public, this project creates a user-friendly and accessible visualization of these data. This is the first project by Luftwerk that pulls from a live data stream.
bLUMEN | Homan Square
(blume : German for ‘flower.’ | lumen : Latin for ‘light.’)
bLUMEN is a site-specific sculptural pavilion combining art, architecture, and technology to create a flourishing plant-growth environment that engages and connects with the Homan Square community. With bLUMEN, we envision how design can transform and activate sites into fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and social interaction.
Modular in form, the temporary pavilion is formed by six 10-foot tall hexagonal steel structures connected to one another, forming an urban canopy. The canopy acts as the physical framework for fifteen interconnected horticulture LED grow lights that help grow a small selection of plants and vegetables. With access to healthy and fresh food being an issue in the Homan Square and North Lawndale communities, bLUMEN focuses on food as a core issue to gather the community and help the effort of other local initiatives working on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
The asymmetric steel structure organizes and activates the currently underutilized site, creating a new public space for Homan Square residents and visitors. With its pink glow generated by the grow lights, bLUMEN extends the daily use of the space, allowing for temporary and seasonal interventions to take place day and night. Whether to host established and existing programs or new and spontaneous interventions, we hope bLUMEN becomes a new and exciting gathering place for the Homan Square community and all Chicago residents.
The bLUMEN pavilion was designed and built as part of the bLUMEN summer course taught by Luftwerk and MAS Studio and organized by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects and the Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration in August of 2016.
transLIT | The 606
transLIT was developed for the opening celebration of Chicago’s newest public park with an elevated pathway, the 606. The event was located Humboldt Boulevard viaduct and temporarily closed off for the public to experience and celebrate the 606. Imagery of flora and fauna filled this site-specific video installation, which was projected onto the surfaces of the newly repurposed urban infrastructure. Highlighting the birth and growth of this new public space for Chicago, this project gave light—literally and symbolically—to the future of this important public park.
Luminous Field | Millennium Park
Luminous Field transformed the Millennium Park into a digital canvas of motion, light, and geometrical form as the first site-specific video and sound installation in the park. The ten-day installation illuminated Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate and the AT&T Plaza, with dramatic images and colors set to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon.
The work comprised of projections that video-mapped the tiles of the plaza creating a digital mosaic. Inspired by Italian marble floors, the tessellation patterns, the digital mosaic added a new, contemporary layer to the work. Animation of the video composition became an informal hopscotch as visitors tried to anticipate the movement and follow along. The projections interacted with the reflective surface of Cloud Gate in a new, altered state. The piece, a digital playground for the public, attracted over 65,000 visitors to the park.
Luminous Field has been featured in Time magazine, the Chicago Tribune, gestaltens’ book Going Public.
Flow Im Fluss | Couch Place Alley | Silent Funny
FLOW / Im Fluss celebrated of the 20th anniversary of the sister cities Chicago and Hamburg, Germany. This relationship was represented through information on the river in each city. In Chicago, the river has a sorted history of pollution and is often treated like an alleyway—Chicago’s urban network and location for trash storage and collection.
Notably, the projected was sited in Chicago’s first green alleyway with a permeable pavement to keep polluted water from draining in the river. Projecting animations of abstracted patterns derived from the scientific data on the health of each river on a series of facing water-mist screens that lined the alleyway, the two cities faced each other in this immersive installation. The projections visualized information such as dissolved oxygen levels, flow, and even chemical pollution in each of the river. While not initially obvious to the view, information about the visualized date was provided in handouts by the NRDC to inform the users.
FLOW is on permanent exhibit at Silent Funny and can be viewed by appointment.