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.

Shifting Topographies

19th Street BART Station, Oakland, CA

 High density foam,  polyuria “hard coat”, chameleon paint, Glass, specialty dynamic projections.

High density foam, polyuria “hard coat”, chameleon paint, Glass, specialty dynamic projections.

 

Inspiration for Shifting Topographies began with the shifting patterns and colors of the rolling Oakland hills (green to gold) and at the macro scale the ripples of the adjacent San Francisco Bay (gray-blue-green). Other inspirations came from the flashy paint jobs in the car culture of this community and the signature Blue BART station for which the art marked the entrance.

Note the color shifting paint that radically changes depending on angle of the sun, position of viewer and time of day

Note the color shifting paint that radically changes depending on angle of the sun, position of viewer and time of day

 

The sculpture is fabricated from a high-density foam covered with a polyuria “hard coat” most often applied as “truck bed liners”. This super robust material is then painted with multiple layers of color shifting paint that dramatically changes color depending on sun angle and time of day.

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At one end of the station, laminated safety glass with blue and mirrored ribbons of topography disguise the emergency ventilation shafts- providing a sense of movement and visual expansion in a compressed space. The mirrored topography also provides a site context and juxtaposition of the urban Cartesian grid playing against the natural land forms.

moving projections animate the space after dark

At night the sculpture conjures the drama of the adjacent theaters, nightclubs and galleries- providing movement, color, pattern and excitement to this previously under-used alley entrance. The patterning of the projections includes interference patterns created by dueling topographic lines, atmospheric nebulae-like patterning and swirling water-influenced movement.

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Check out the video below to see the night moving projections:

 

Special thanks to all of our great project partners:

City of Oakland, Cultural Arts & Marketing Commissioning Agency
BART: Bay Area Rapid Transit (entrance to the 19th Street Oakland Station)
Martin Kaufman
Sasaki Associates landscape architects and design team partners
Heavy Industries fabricator
Atthowe Fine Art Services installation
Swenson Say Faget engineering
Visual Terrain lighting consultant
Jason Gedrose/ MVStaging programming
Greg Linhares additional photography