Posts tagged with "Art Installations":

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Phillip K. Smith III illuminates abandoned historic Detroit sky bridge

This past month, architect-turned-artist Phillip K. Smith III revived the 100-foot-long walkway that links two of Detroit’s most celebrated skyscrapers with a dynamic light installation. Wedged between the Guardian Building and One Woodward Avenue, the suspended passageway was built in the 1970s to allow employees of the American Natural Resources Company and Michigan Consolidated Gas Company to pass freely between the two office buildings without interference from inner-city traffic and congestion. When one of the companies relocated in the 1990s, however, the bulky walkway was abandoned. Fortunately, the sky bridge has now been revitalized with a permanent installation by the California designer known for his extravagant, light-based, and Coachella-esque works of art. Phillip K. Smith III has completely transformed the neglected passageway into a vibrant, floating bar of light that electrifies the streets of downtown Detroit. “Detroit Skybridge is another example of how underutilized spaces can be reimagined for the benefit of the public,” said the owner of Library Street Collective, the art organization that conceptualized the project. “Phillip’s use of light and color, along with his understanding of architecture and scale, makes this a compelling project for the city.” Smith drew inspiration from the geometric white concrete of Minoru Yamasaki’s 1962 One Woodward building and the variegated interior of the 1929 Guardian Building. His design, which is composed of shifting tones and moving planes of light, has added a pop of color and a renewed interest to the historic city’s constantly evolving skyline. “By day, the Skybridge will continue to be seen as its historic self within the architecture and massing of Downtown. But by night, it will become a beacon for the beauty, creativity, and innovation of Detroit,” said Smith. “I am interested in creating experiences that tap into ‘universal beauty’—experiences that make us step away from our pattern, our life, our work, our errands, and allow us to see sublime beauty shifting and changing before our eyes.”
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Doug Aitken’s creates a Mirage in a historic Detroit bank

On October 10, the doors of Detroit’s long-abandoned State Savings Bank will open to the public and reveal a space radically different from the building's original interior. Among the building’s elegant columns, historic bank vault, and vast interior space sits Doug Aitken’s latest art installation, a mystifying sculpture in the form of a one-story American suburban house, equipped with a maze of mirror-clad rooms and hallways that will leave visitors both disoriented and perplexed. The sprawling design, known as Mirage Detroit, diffracts and reflects every aspect of its surroundings, including the historic architecture of the antiquated building in which it resides. The resulting contrast is intense: the bank, with its bold sculptural supports, decorative enrichments, elaborate cornice, and over-scaled features, is juxtaposed with Aitken’s angular, mirrored sculpture and the room’s marble floor, which has been completely obscured by raw earth and river rocks. The merging of these elements conjures images of “a constantly shifting landscape that incorporates the organic and inorganic, reflects the past, and questions the future,” according to a statement from the artist's studio. Mirage Detroit will mark one of the first times that the public has had open access to the State Savings Bank, which was built in 1900 and has been vacant for decades. The bank, which is impressive by virtue of its sheer size, classical décor, and adaptation to the urban American landscape, represents the history of Detroit while looking towards its future. It was saved from demolition after it was purchased by Bedrock in late 2014. “In many ways, Mirage will become its surroundings,” says Anthony Curis, owner of Detroit-based art gallery Library Street Collective. “It will reflect and intensify one of the city’s greatest historical and cultural contributions—its grand architecture.” Over the course of the exhibition period, Mirage Detroit will host an array of cultural events ranging from educational programs, musical performances, and community programs funded by organizations like Cranbrook Academy of Art, Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art Detroit (MOCAD), and College for Creative Studies.
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What is architecture’s objective? The Architectural League’s 2018 Prize show proposes answers

"How might we determine the facts and values that motivate the production of architecture in a post-truth era?" That was the question that entrants were asked to respond to for this year's Prize for Young Architects + Designers from The Architectural League of New York. The winners presented an array of proposals across a variety of media that obliquely took on the theme. The 2018 competition, titled Objective, was won by Anya Sirota of Akoaki, Bryony Roberts of Bryony Roberts Studio, Gabriel Cuéllar and Athar Mufreh of Cadaster, Coryn Kempster of Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, Alison Von Glinow and Lap Chi Kwong of Kwong Von Glinow, and Dan Spiegel of SAW // Spiegel Aihara Workshop. The Prize is an annual award established in 1981 to celebrate young, successful practices from across the United States, and the exhibition of winners is now on view at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at the Parsons School of Design, running through August 4. Visitors to the Design Center are first confronted by Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow’s plywood model titled Table Top Apartments. It runs the length of the storefront and consists of circular, square, and rectangular geometries stacked on top of one another via thin columns. The Chicago-based architecture practice was founded one year ago and is already reaching great heights; they recently won first prize in the New York Housing Challenge 2017 and the Hong Kong Pixel Home Challenge. Their installation is a study model of their New York housing proposal, which makes use of modules “based on the form of stacking table tops to generate towers with setbacks and cascading balconies.” Visitors to the exhibition are immediately drawn to the graphic vinyl pattern that runs down the west wall of the gallery onto the floor. Geometric cutouts of marble and stone textures are collaged together by Bryony Roberts. Her exploration with patterns is said to be inspired by her experience as a Rome Prize Fellow, her previous works at The American Academy in Rome, and an exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in collaboration with Mabel O. Wilson. Roberts toggles between practice and teaching as a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and an architect who combines architecture and performance. Anya Sirota's installation cuts an eye-catching figure in the middle of the show. The unconventional models are composed of silhouettes of architectural objects overlaid on wilderness backdrops. Sirota, founded by Akoaki with Jean Louis Farges, frequently designs temporary art installations that respond to public programs, including a geometric artwork in Detroit that sets the stage for an open-air opera.
Next, to the models, a rack of colorful postcards exhibits the work of Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster. Their work uses color in imaginative ways, with a neon-pink swing set named Full Circle originally installed in Buffalo, and the Sky House in Ontario, which features interiors painted in different shades of blue, complementing the green tones of the idyllic Stoney Lake scenery. Visitors are free to take postcards from the exhibition. Nine models of the same dimensions by Dan Spiegel are mounted on the wall. With inset lighting effects, the relief models lead the audience through tiny spaces. Spiegel’s firm, SAW // Spiegel Aihara Workshop, with Megumi Aihara have recently completed Try-On Truck, a mobile store that opens up with transformable wood and glass panels. Gabriel Cuéllar and Athar Mufreh’s four research studios titled the architecture of territories are “parcels, rights-of-way, watersheds, and urban ecologies.” Their firm Cadaster is concerned with the environment and landscape, with projects on the New York Canal System, Quebec urban planning, and the American Black Churches in the South. Their works are nuanced reflections on cities and territories.
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This urban cabin by FreelandBuck for MINI LIVING plays with perception

Los Angeles- and New York City-based FreelandBuck has come together with MINI LIVING to create a visually complex temporary installation for the Los Angeles Design Festival. The eye-catching pavilion was on display over the weekend at the showcase’s headquarters at The Row arts complex in Downtown Los Angeles.  For the installation, FreelandBuck hijacked a pair of compact living modules previously designed by the MINI LIVING team in order to create an inhabitable public space for use during the festivities. The new “experience” space is sandwiched between the spare “urban cabin” accommodations and was designed by FreelandBuck in order to “extend the perceptual boundaries and the contemplative life of a living space through spatial effects and experimental material assemblies,” according to a press release for the project.  In plan, FreelandBuck’s designs are contained within a pair of redundant aluminum stud-framed spaces where one of the two boxes has been rotated in space in order to project beyond the extents of the otherwise rectangular cabin. The second cube is rotated in the opposite direction and created an angled exit within the main volume. The doubled walls mark the entries to the cabin on the outside and frame a doorway within, leaving odd, oblique wedges of space at the meeting points of the two rotated volumes.  The two nested boxes are skinned in translucent polycarbonate panels that have been printed with images depicting a third framed volume that is drawn to appear as if it has been projected through the structure. The graphic produces a disorienting, layered effect through the spaces, with different views of the red and blue cube projected across the interlocking areas. The space is flanked on either side by the MINI LIVING-designed components, which include a living space framed by pivoting pegboard-and mesh-wrapped wall panels and a bedroom area that features a skylight above the sleeping area.  The installation represents the eighth iteration of the pavilion by MINI LIVING and the first scheme that is designed to hold overnight guests.  For more information, see the MINI LIVING website.
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First look: Coachella brings shimmering cathedrals, repurposed jets, and AR to the High Desert

The Coachella Arts and Music Festival kicks off this weekend outside Los Angeles, bringing with it a wide-ranging program of colorful, sculptural artworks by a handful of local and international artists. Years past have brought dynamic artworks by designers like Bureau Spectacular, among others. This year's presenters include R&R Studios, a Miami-based duo made up of Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquart. The visual art-, architecture-, and design-focused creatives have brought their star-shaped sculpture, Supernova. This is the duo’s second year exhibiting at Coachella, following the 2016 show. Entertainment design studio NEWSUBSTANCE is making their Coachella debut with Spectra, a seven-story-tall sloped ramp structure clad in transparent orange and yellow panels. Artist Randy Polumbo will bring Lodestar, 35-foot triangular"saucer" made from a repurposed Lockheed Martin Lodestar jet that sits on a trio of 10,000-pound legs. Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi will grace the High Desert with his Etherea sculpture, a massive mesh-based work that evokes Baroque architecture. El Salvadorian artist Simón Vega is presenting his Palm-3 World Station at the festival, a spherical sculptural work made up of repurposed components. American artist Katie Stout will debut Display This Oasis, an augmented reality-based sculpture "that's grounded in reality" and focuses on processing everyday objects through a special web-based app. Los Angeles-based artist Adam Ferriss brings his Meta & Ditto augmented reality installation to the music festival, another app-based installation that utilizes "manipulated source images, computer code, and algorithms to psychedelic effect." Photographs are not yet available for the two augmented reality-based installations. We will be updating this post throughput the weekend with more images.
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Endurance art that explores ‘mastery’ in architecture and ballet

In many ways, architecture and ballet are natural accomplices. Both disciplines are irrevocably entwined with the body–as much as contemporary architectural practice tries to shirk this fact–and both are dedicated to the illusion of impossible ease, obscuring endless hours of grueling work and practice. But an exhibition opening this week in Chicago at the Graham Foundation strips away that mask. Instead, Brendan Fernandes: The Master and Form demonstrates the often perverse labor that goes into the pursuit of perfection. The Master and Form exhibition consists of a series of installations placed throughout the Madlener House, the Graham Foundation’s Prairie-style home, designed in collaboration with Chicago and New York-based practice Norman Kelley. These installations double as hyper-specific training devices on which dancers from the Joffrey Academy of Dance train their bodies into classic ballet poses, in performances of site-specific endurance art. “The exhibition is a means of exploring the relationship between mastery and masochism–what we do to our bodies, the pleasure and the pain–in service of aesthetic perfection,” said Fernandes, a former dancer and the 2017 Graham Foundation performance artist-in-residence. The Master and Form is also a kind of sculptural love affair between architecture and ballet. On the first floor of the Madlener House, three geometric wooden devices that look like creative coat stands occupy the foyer and two galleries. With Fernandes acting as ballet master, the dancers move repeatedly in and out of iconic poses, using the sculptures as guides to attain a more perfect form. On the second floor, three large-scale installations made of black metal piping occupy the east and west galleries. They resemble a cross between scaffolding and a pilates reformer. On these structures, dancers will bend their bodies into extreme postures and forms, stretching the limits of their strength and flexibility. The west gallery is also hung with pieces of thick rope, which serve as BDSM-style endurance devices for the dancers to hold onto with their arms overextended while moving between ballet positions on pointe, to the point of fatigue These performances are meant to elicit an intense intimacy between the dancers and the objects, as well as between the dancers and the audience, who will be standing close enough to hear them breathe and see them sweat. When the dancers are not present, three-way audio recordings of their movements will play in each room. Ellen Alderman, Managing Director of Public Programs at the Graham Foundation, said, “Sounds of pointe shoes moving across the old oak floor, creaks, the dancers breathing heavily, will elicit an experience of the physicality of the sculptures and the choreography that will draw the audience to their own bodies and experience of the space.” In addition to the sculptural instruments, Fernandes and Norman Kelley also designed a series of gestural arches and frames that echo existing and historical thresholds and windows in the Madlener House. These moments call attention to architecture’s most intimate moments in relation to the human body, and serve as another layer of sculptural circulation influencing the movement of bodies through the house. Performances are scheduled for four dates throughout the duration of the exhibition, including the opening reception. The exhibition closes on March 10. The Master and Form performance schedule (at the Graham Foundation, 4 W Burton Pl, Chicago, IL 60610): Thursday, January 25, 2018, 6–8:00 p.m. Opening Reception and Performance Thursday, February 1, 2018, 6–8:00 p.m. Talk by Jaffer Kolb Saturday, February 10, 1–3:00 p.m. Performance followed by Brendan Fernandes in conversation with Zachary Whittenburg Thursday, February 15, 6:00 p.m. Talk by Hendrik Folkerts followed by Q&A with Brendan Fernandes Saturday, February 17, 1–3:00 p.m. Performance Saturday, March 10, 1–3:00 p.m. Performance
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Times Square will host a three-minute psychedelic wonder all this month at midnight

Times Square can leave your head spinning at the best of times, but come the final minutes of each day this month, visitors can witness a psychedelic show on the square's famous advertising boards. Known as Convolution Weave~Lattice Domain and created by MSHR—a collaborative composed of Portland, Oregon–based artists Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy—the work is a highly colorful virtual landscape of spinning objects. The complex sculptures represent objects that would be impossible to create in reality, as well as more conventional forms, that creating dazzling patterns. "We construct hypershapes that reflect consciousness, just as the content in Times Square reflects the psychic structure of our culture. There are many possible shapes of reality," MSHR said in a press release. "We aim to warp the frayed edges of this media node, minding the intentions behind mental influence through imagery. Our intention is to inject the light stream with objects sculpted for presence of mind." The installation is part of the Midnight Moment, a monthly showing provided by The Times Square Advertising Coalition and presented in partnership with Upfor Gallery and Times Square Arts. Convolution Weave~Lattice Domain can be viewed from 11:57 p.m.-midnight every night this August. Despite hailing from the West Coast, more of MSHR's work can be found in New York—in particular, Queens, where Cooper and Murphy's art is featured in the Past Skin exhibition at MoMA PS1 where it is on view through September 10, 2017.
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Abandoned building in Boston transformed into a site-specific art installation

An abandoned building in Allston, Boston has been transformed into an engaging art installation by two Baltimore-based artists, revealing the power of art in urban intervention.
The duo Jessie + Katey, formed by Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, created the mural as a part of a Harvard-based initiative called Zone 3. The initiative aims to further activate and energize the buildings along Western Avenue, which include a former dry cleaning facility and auto body garage, by implementing creative programs, events, and retail.
Jessie + Katey are known for creating large-scale public murals that look to engage the public with their socially active art. The entire building’s facade is painted with bold colors and sweeping patterns that curve around the edges, along with recycled materials like beer cans and bottle caps attached to the walls. The pair also held community events where the public was invited to create their own screen prints, which were eventually inscribed onto the walls. It took them nearly one month to complete the mural, which explores themes of movement and symmetry. The two artists have been creating colorful murals since 2011 and have been making an impression on the East Coast. Two years ago they were selected for the New York Department of Transportation’s 191st Tunnel Beautification Project and that same year they worked with Philadelphia’s Murals Arts Program when creating the 400-foot-long mural pop-up park: "Summer Kaleidoscope." In addition to this, Unterhalter and Truhn have residencies with The Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York, The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine and the John Micheal Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
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Watch Studio Gang’s “Hive” installation rise at the National Building Museum

Hive, an exhibition by Studio Gang, will be this year's Summer Block Party installation at the National Building Museum. While it opens July 4, you can watch its progress from the comfort of home, courtesy a work zone cam on the Museum's website. Built entirely of more than 2,700 wound paper tubes, the installation features three interconnected, domed chambers that reach 60 feet in height and mimic insect hives. Its tallest dome features an oculus over ten feet in diameter; it will filter in light to create light and shadow patterns. The tubes, which are made out of sustainable material, have a reflective silver exterior and a magenta interior that contrasts sharply with the Museum’s historic 19th-century architecture and Corinthian columns. Hive's form is inspired by other iconic built structures, including Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch and Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, as well as natural forms like a spider web. The smaller chambers also feature tubular instruments ranging from simple drum-like tubes to chimes. The installation creates pockets of spaces within the vast Great Hall, allowing different programs to occur within each area. Its modification of sound, light, and scale aims to challenge the way humans interact with spaces and installation sculptures. Hive will go on display from July 4, 2017, to September 4, 2017. Visit nmb.org to find the web cam and for further information on special exhibitions and programs.
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Artist Daniel Buren transforms Tribeca gallery with mesmerizing installation

There is a mesmerizing new interior in Tribeca that architects and designers should rush to see before it is taken down on June 24. Created by artist Daniel Buren for the new Bortolami gallery at 39 Walker Street, it's titled To Align: works in situ 2017. Buren has spent 50 years transforming all sorts of interior and exterior spaces with his signature contrasting stripes motif, but if you are familiar with his earlier work, like the Palais Royal installation in Paris, you are aware of his blue and white stripes and will be surprised by the colorful turn his work has taken in the last few years. Installed in the Bortolami space, To Align: works in situ 2017 uses white and brightly colored alternating stripes of red, blue, yellow, and black-and-white exactly 8.7 cm. in width, as derived from the fabric he first used as a canvas in 1965. The stripes are spatially oriented on the sides of 44 rectangular columns so that from different perspectives one is engulfed by entirely different palates of color. These color fields both react to the existing cast iron architecture and challenge its ‘spaciousness.’ The 44 tightly-packed columns in the space create a magical forest of color while challenging its ‘galleriness’ and, with the gallery’s back skylights covered with colored film, the space is in daytime even more memorable. Buren’s signature vertical stripes wrap around Bortolami’s exterior Corinthian columns, where they will remain until 2021.
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Verner Panton–inspired playground coming to Fort Lauderdale airport

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

Work on a $295 million modernization plan for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 1 by multiservice firm Gresham, Smith and Partners is nearly complete. The refresh, part of a slate of upgrades that will transform the regional airport into an international and domestic hub, will also host a 2,000-square-foot art installation and playground designed by architect Volkan Alkanoglu.

Alkanoglu’s Cloud Scape, commissioned by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners’ Cultural Division and located along a mezzanine level adjacent to one of the terminal’s busy ambulatories, is “inspired by the idea of aviation and literally translates it into a physical environment at the terminal” Alkanoglu explained. The playscape—made up of four discrete structures arranged linearly in a sky-blue-painted room—evokes the larger-than-life cumulus clouds one sees from an airborne plane and is, according to the architect, partially inspired by 1970s visionary designer Verner Panton’s Visona 2 installation, a “fantasy landscape” made up of a series of extruded, occupiable shapes.

Functionally, the caricatured shapes are designed to facilitate movement and play: They feature slides, portholes, and climbable surfaces all scaled to tot dimensions. The structures are for “playing in the clouds,” the designer explained. “Before you take off or after you land, you have the ability to immerse into this landscape of clouds.” Each is also designed to facilitate a different type of diversion. One takes the shape of a large donut, with a bubbly hole cut out of its center. Another is deconstructed, with each of the three constituent cloud profiles separated out to create a sitting shelf, another donut-hole-penetrated mass, and a small slide. The third is made up of cloud-shaped wedges that come together in a tight corner. And the fourth structure is more solid, with supple climbing surfaces, a rounded-step ramp, and another tunnel.

Of particular concern for Alkanoglu were the strict fire- and life-safety codes the project had to meet due to its airport setting and the fragile nature of its fledgling users. The structures are built out of Fire 1–rated Medite, a type of medium-density fiberboard, painted in white automotive paint and finished in clear polyurethane. Regulations by the National Recreation and Park Association also played a role in the design, dictating the spacing—six feet—between the structures as well as the detailing for various edge and corner conditions. Everything sits atop light- and dark-blue colored rubber flooring.

The project, currently in the permitting stages, will be fabricated by Indianapolis-based Ignition Arts and is expected to be complete May 2017.

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(Almost) everything is blue in Snarkitecture co-founder Daniel Arsham’s latest installation

Daniel Arsham is feeling blue. Hourglass, the latest exhibition by the New York–based artist and Snarkitecture co-founder, is currently on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Hourglass features some of the Arsham’s first work in color. The colorblind artist has worked predominantly in black and white throughout his career but recently began using special light refracting glasses, which allow him to see the world more vibrantly. “Life is definitely more nuanced, but I’m not sure it’s more interesting. I feel like I’m inside a game—an overly saturated world,” said Arsham in a press release. “But now I’ve arrived at a point where I’m using color as another tool in my work. This is a unique project for me in that there is a ton of color, so I think it’s going to be really interesting to see audiences react.” The exhibition at the High features three installations, including a blue Zen garden and tea house that dominates one of the museum’s interior galleries. The monochromatic space is washed in a hurts-your-eyes blue: blue Japanese tea house, blue floor, blue sand. A gray petrified tree and gray stone lantern stand in the garden, providing the eyes with a break from the overwhelming color. Inside the tea house, a cast figure of a woman and a camera sit on the, you guessed it, blue tatami mats. The “scattered objects give the environment a palpable sense of dwelling—as if occupied by a caretaker hermit,” said the museum in a press release. That caretaker hermit, a member of the Atlanta glo dance company, comes along each Sunday during the exhibition to rake new patterns into the sand. The other installations include a cave of purple amethyst-cast sports equipment and a room of hourglasses that draw on Arsham’s continuing project, Fictional Archaeology, which involves the casting of everyday objects in precious and semi-precious stones. Hourglass is on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta through May 21.