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.

Sonic Bloom

Seattle Center, Seattle WA

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SONIC BLOOM, 2013, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Center, Seattle WA.
Commissioned by the Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Light’s Green Up Program.
5 flowers: 20’ diameter and up to 40’ tall. Steel, fiberglass, custom photo voltaic cells, LEDs, sensors, interactive sound system and energy data monitoring.

At the foot of Seattle’s Space Needle and a defining entry sculpture to the Pacific Science Center. The project was conceived as a dynamic and educational focal piece that would extend the Science Center’s education outside of their buildings while engaging the public with an iconic artwork prompting curiosity and interactivity both during the day and night.

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The title Sonic Bloom refers not only to our defining location “on the Puget Sound” but also to the artwork itself that sings as the public approaches each flower. Every flower has its own distinctive series of harmonic notes simulating a singing chorus. A hidden sensor located in each flower identifies movement and triggers the sound. So if there are 5 people engaging the flowers together, it is possible to compose and conduct music together or by walking through, randomly set off a harmonic sequence.

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photo © Frank Huster

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Installation crew prepares to lift one of the flower centers onto its stalk. Note the array of custom photo voltaic cells and arching “stamen lighting”

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Special thanks to all our great Project Partners:
Mike Nelson
Metalistics
Galaxy Electric &Solar
Steve Monsey
Paul Strong
Swenson Say Faget
Kiboworks
Bulldog Powdercoating
NW Auto Body
Puget Sound Coatings
Sunbacker Fiberglass
Silicon Energy
DMI Drilling
Van Overbeke Const.
Ace Galvanizing
Sound Deliveries
Enphase Energy
Kelly Early
Brickman Landscape
Frank Huster

 

 

Nepenthes

Portland, OR

Fiberglass, steel, LEDs, acrylic, steel, paint, batteries, electronics.

16.5′ h x 4′ x 5.6’w   Fiberglass, steel, photovoltaic panels, LEDs, acrylic, GFRC, steel, paint, batteries, electronics.

 

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.

Nepenthes is also the name of a family of Carnivorous plants. Beautiful, quirky, unusual, weird (not unlike Portlandians). They are the weird tropical pitcher plants or "monkey cups" that collect water in their leaf vases that sometimes monkeys drink from. The water has an enzyme in them 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 Nepenthes.

Nepenthes is also the name of a family of Carnivorous plants. Beautiful, quirky, unusual, weird (not unlike Portlandians). They are the fascinating tropical pitcher plants or “monkey cups” that collect water in their leaf vases that sometimes monkeys drink from. The water has an enzyme in them 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 and quirkiness of this colorful neighborhood.

 

Each sculpture contains solar cells and batteries that take in energy in the daytime and allow them to glow after dark. The time on changes with the season….about an hour after sundown. They stay on for 4 hours after they turn on.

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The project was funded by TRIMET and was administrated by the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland (RACC). The project began with construction funds that were originally allocated towards stamped concrete in the center of 4 blocks. The community requested the funds be used for “Markers” to connect China Town to the Park Blocks (and possibly the Pearl District) along Davis Street- highlighting the street as a vibrant walking corridor and connector. The “Markers” project took a few twists and turns and ultimately became these glowing sculptures.

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Construction Photo: Looking inside the the center of the teal sculpture

Construction Photo: Looking inside the the center of the teal sculpture

Thanks to all our great Project Partners: Regional Arts and Culture Council(administration / project management) TRIMET (funding source) Heavy Industries (fabrication) PMCS (PV/LED Engineering and Design) Swenson Say Faget (Structural Engineering) Art and Design Works (Installation) John Russel (Concrete work)

Thanks to all our great Project Partners:
Regional Arts and Culture Council (administration / project management)
TRIMET (funding source)
Heavy Industries (fabrication)
PMCS (PV/LED Engineering and Design)
Swenson Say Faget (Structural Engineering)
Art and Design Works (Installation)
John Russel (Concrete work)