For the Amsterdam Light Festival, which goes on from now through January 2015, Italian design studio Aether & Hemera have created On the Wings of Freedom, a radiant cloud of hundreds of butterflies that hover above the ground. The dazzling installation can be found along the walking route of the festival, at Wertheimpark. Visitors with a smartphone are welcome to change the lighting effects which means they can manipulate the colors and patterns of light.
The butterflies represent metamorphosis and freedom across all cultures. Essentially, this installation is about the transformation of a city, in this case, Amsterdam. As they state, “The city is a place where people can continuously be inspired, not only culturally but also socially; a place for ongoing change and progress. On the Wings of Freedom symbolizes this potential change and evolution.
“With our installation’s dynamic waves of colors we wanted to celebrate Amsterdam’s bubbles and buzzes of activities, thoughts and interactions.”
“The joyous flapping creatures in the Wertheimpark are not just a source of beauty and enjoyment, but also a request: keep the change coming. It’s what Amsterdam is all about. It’s been said that a butterfly can cause a storm. Leave it to these butterflies to cause a hurricane of light and creativity.”
From the architect. The Color Inside is a milestone in The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks public art collection. Located on the roof of the Student Activity Center, the project arose from the student body’s desire for a peaceful retreat at the Student Activity Center (SAC). The SAC serves as a highly active social and cultural center with amenities that include, amongst others, a ballroom, black box theater, auditorium, conference rooms, and offices for student organizations. Through an in-depth participatory design process, students played a pivotal role in defining the programmatic functions of the SAC and the role it would play on campus. As a result, internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell was commissioned to design a “Skyspace,” one of his renowned inhabitable artworks, in order to offer a space for quiet amidst the dynamic atmosphere of the SAC.
Turrell’s work challenges the traditional relationship between art as object and viewer. Through the manipulation of color and light, the installation radically alters the viewer’s perception of the sky, seemingly bringing it down to the plane of the viewer. His work has no object, no physical presence; instead light and perception are his artistic media. As Turrell has said, “Light is not so much something that reveals as it is the revelation.” By drawing attention to the perceptual mechanisms at work in the act of seeing, he instills the awareness that subjective experience shapes our understanding of reality and the world around us. This perceptual process closely parallels those cultivated by many Eastern contemplative practices, and Turrell himself often likens his work to the Quaker practices of his own youth, in which the act of silent prayer is described as “going inside to greet the light.”
image courtesy of masakazu shirane + saya miyazaki
Japanese designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki immerse visitors to ‘Wink’ in a human-scale kaleidoscope, reflecting them within a maze of geometrically shaped mirrors. Set inside the confines of a 40-foot-long industrial shipping container, the installation unties both architecture and art, and intends to shift traditional structural concepts and ideas about the two disciplines. Not only an experiential creation, ‘Wink’ is also an example of ‘Zipper Architecture’: all of the interior panels are connected by detachable cords, and each singular unit can be opened and closed like a window. ‘this idea could solve global environmental problems’ the designers describe ‘because it is easy to exchange only a part with a zipper.’.
American artist Phillip K Smith III has added mirrors to the walls of a desert shack in California to create the illusion that you can see right through the building. Entitled Lucid Stead, the installation was created by Phillip K Smith III on a 70-year-old wooden residence within the California High Desert. Mirrored panels alternate with weather-beaten timber siding panels to create horizontal stripes around the outer walls, allowing narrow sections of the building to seemingly disappear into the vast desert landscape.
“Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert,” said Smith. “When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”