Sensing WATER

I-87/San Fernando Street, San Jose CA

paint, custom LEDs, Live weather data feed, interactive cell phone control

paint, custom LEDs, Live weather data feed, interactive cell phone control

Sensing WATER is a weather-responding and interactive artwork utilizing light and paint to define a major downtown gateway in San Jose CA. The project is composed of 2 elements, the massive painted sloped wall that abstractly references flowing water, and the overhead evening lighting that illuminates with rippling patterns of light the underpass of I-87. The project uses real-time NOAA weather data to compose different patterns of light on the ceiling. (e.g.: 0-5mph winds vs thunderstorms). The projected light maintains a similar palate to the painted sloped wall, yet becomes dynamic depending on the weather.

Sensing WATER is a weather-responding and interactive artwork utilizing light and paint to define a major downtown gateway in San Jose CA. The project is composed of 2 elements, the massive painted sloped wall that abstractly references flowing water, and the overhead evening lighting that illuminates with rippling patterns of light the underpass of I-87. The project uses real-time NOAA weather data to compose different patterns of light on the ceiling. (e.g.: 0-5mph winds vs thunderstorms). The projected light maintains a similar palate to the painted sloped wall, yet becomes dynamic depending on the weather.

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In addition to the live weather feed transforming the space, this project is also highly interactive for those players of the Ingress multi-player game. By interacting physically on site with your cell phone, players can transform the space, revealing aspects of the game for a brief amount of time.

 

The site for the work sits over the Guadalupe River. The inspiration for this piece began with the ever-present awareness of water issues in California. San Jose once was know as the Valley of Hearts Delight- before becoming the Heart of Silicon Valley. Known for its fruit orchards and fragrance of ripening fruit San Jose was supported by rich soil and abundant access to water. I was curious to link both the awareness of water issues to the new focus of the high tech industry through the use of dynamic illumination.

The site for the work sits over the Guadalupe River. The inspiration for this piece began with the ever-present awareness of water issues in California. San Jose once was know as the Valley of Hearts Delight- before becoming the Heart of Silicon Valley. Known for its orchards and fragrance of ripening fruit, San Jose was supported by rich soil and abundant access to water. I was curious to link both the awareness of water issues to the new focus of the high tech industry through the use of dynamic illumination.

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Special thanks to those folks who made this project happen: The City of San Jose, San Jose Downtown Association, Kiboworks, Affordable Painting Services, HC Reynolds, Swenson Say Faget, Niantic

 

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The Guadalupe River at this point is a culvertized river that is most often a “trickle” but fills with water during storm events.

Special thanks to those folks who made this project happen: The City of San Jose, San Jose Downtown Association, Kiboworks, Affordable Painting Services, HC Reynolds, Swenson Say Faget, Niantic

Not only do the lighting patterns change based on weather conditions, but they are dynamic- constantly pulsing and chasing, depending on severity of the weather.

Nepenthes Paisleyi

Edmonton, Alberta Canada

17'h x 4' x5.6'w. Fiberglass, steel, LED's Sensors, GFRC

17’h x 4′ x5.6’w. painted fiberglass, steel, LED’s, sensors, GFRC

 

The name of the pieces are “Nepenthes.” The name is derived from a Greek magical potion that would cause the drinker to be relieved from or induce forgetfulness of pain, grief, or sorrow. I hope these sculptures might provide a brief respite from a hectic daily life, transporting us briefly somewhere else. Paisleyi is the botanic latin version of Paisley, named after the founder of the Edmonton Fringe Festival- and name of the community wherein the sculptures are located.

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Nepenthes is also the name of a family of carnivorous plants. Beautiful, quirky, unusual, weird. The fascinating tropical pitcher plants, or “monkey cups,” collect water in their leaf vases. The plant water has an enzyme in it that helps dissolve insects (and sometimes small animals) that find their way into the cups, providing fertilizer for the plants that normally live in infertile locations. The shapes of the sculptures are inspired by the shape of a variety of Nepenthes and celebrates the wonderful diversity of Paisley’s colourful neighborhood.

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Monochromatic by daytime, this family of sculptures take on a completely different character at night with the addition of dynamic LED programming.

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There are a number of randomly occurring lighting programs that provide very slow changes throughout the evening. It is designed so that people driving by will not see the changes in patterns, yet if they drive by 10 minutes later they will see a different aspect to the project. When people enter the sculpture, integrated sensors pick up the motion and trigger a series of much more animated sequences.

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The molds for these sculptures were originally developed for the Nepenthes Davis Street Project for TRIMET/City of Portland, Oregon. The Regional Arts and Culture Council has kindly provided permission for a re-envisioning of the original project for the Brookfield Residential neighborhood of Paisley in Edmonton. You can see the original project here: Nepenthes

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Special thanks to all of our great project partners:
Brookfield Residential,  Edmonton (funder and site work)
Heavy Industries (fabrication)
PMCS (LED engineering, and programming)

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video of some of the dynamic LED sequences