Wednesday, October 23, 2013

After Trillium: Solar Powered Robotic Sculpture

I've recently installed After Trillium, a solar powered robotic sculpture inspired by the Iowa native Trillium flower. The sculpture is made of cast aluminum and kiln-formed glass and uses custom electronics to respond to changes in the local environment. The flower opens each morning and closes each night and is illuminated from within for 4hrs after dusk.  The main environmental response is determined by temperature, which controls how far the flower opens each day. In winter, when the temperature is below freezing, the flower remains in a dormant stage and does not open. Through the warmer months, the flower opens more and more each day until it is in full bloom during the hottest part of summer. I see this sculpture as a bridge between technology and nature and something that makes a direct correlation between a physical form and unseen forces in nature. After Trillium was commissioned for the Iowa River Landing Wetlands Park in Coralville, Iowa and was inspired by the poem Arboretum by Iowa author Mark Levine.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall In...Art and Sol

Throughout this month in Michigan, a really unique exhibition of solar art is happening and it is the first of its kind on this scale. Twenty large solar powered art works have been installed by artists from all over the world. Everything from outdoor sculpture, large-scale installations, interactive sculpture, and architectural installations are represented in this amazing debut of solar art titled, "Fall In...Art and Sol". Artists from London, Israel, Italy, and all over the US have work in the exhibition. The festival is an initiative of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and is supported by local businesses, civic associations and the regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. Fall In...Art and Sol is the brain-child of Diana Tomlin, the festival director. Tomlin came up with the idea after being hired on with the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance with the goal of highlighting art and culture in the region as a way to bring positive economic impact to the region. Solar power soon became apparent to her as a unique aspect to focus on after learning how scientists where experimenting with the aesthetics of solar panel production. Furthermore, this region has quite a history of entrepreneurship in relation to solar technologies and exploring the connections between solar technology and art became the focus of the festival. Curator Nacho Zamora was brought in from Dubai for his unique expertise working with artists through his project Solar Artworks. Zamora has been working internationally with artists who make public art and architectural installations that use solar technologies for the past few years. As both an artist and collaborator in this project, I have had a unique inside view of the whole thing. In addition to putting truly unique solar powered art in the public's eyes, there was a really amazing educational initiative that allowed over 800 public school students to create solar art projects that are also on display throughout the region. Overall, the festival is impressive on many levels and a great example of how local businesses and cultural organizations can work together and how public art can create cultural richness that is accessible, educational, and inspiring!

If you happen to be in the area, the exhibition is up through the end of the month. More information and a map can be found at the website for Fall In...Art and Sol

Deedee Morrison: Charm

Tom Moran: Sphere

Loop.pH: SOL Dome

Andrew Woodard: Marquee Three

Justin Schortgen: Trance-Lumines-Sense

O*GE Group: Night Garden

Craig Colorusso: Sun Boxes

Jim Busby: Ti Sculpture

Eleonora Nicoletti: Dancing Screen

Wonjae Lee: Solite

Steven Gutierrez: Solar Night

Steven Fairfield: Glory Pipes

Anthony Castronovo: Regeneration Project

Dawnice Kerchaert: Color Column

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Regeneration Project

Earlier this month I installed this piece, Regeneration Project, in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The installation consisted of about 60 small solar flowers built by middle and high school students in Michigan's Bay Region....and I made two larger flowers. The students created some really unique and beautiful flowers!