Before there was the Kindle and the Sony Reader, there were paperback novels, newspapers, magazines, made of tangible materials, like paper and ink. One could ride the subway and sneak a glimpse into the mind of his fellow passengers without ever exchanging a word; the title printed on the cover of the book you were reading might reveal volumes about your interests and curiosities. With the invasion of e-books and e-readers, there is just no way to tell what people are reading these days. Designers Brian W. Bush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York changed that with their Filament Mind installation that debuted in late January at the grand opening of the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming. Filament Mind is a complex and intricately crafted ceiling installation comprised of over 1,000 fiber-optic cables (totaling over 5 miles) and 44 LED illuminators connected to data processing systems in libraries all across the state of Wyoming. The cables, which are categorized according to the Dewey Decimal System, continuously flash different colors according to the specific words and subjects (for example: “landscape architecture” or “computer methods”) that people enter into the library search system. As users click into different categories and explore new content, the cables burst into an array of colors, making for a truly interactive user experience. With this larger-than-life sized installation Brush and Lee have not only created a visually stunning experience but have also presented library visitors with a unique opportunity to communicate with one another, share and exchange ideas, and inspire each other to delve into subjects that might normally be off their radar. Additionally, the artists honor the donors who funded the project by equipping the installation with a “donor mode.” Periodically the cables will burst into a brilliant light show, randomly glowing from green to pink to blue to yellow. The effect of this technologically detailed installation provides library visitors with a seemingly magical light show that has encouraged people from all across the state to make a trip to the library. “It’s the heart of the community, it’s where people come to share their ideas, and to explore new things to enrich their lives,” says artist Brian Brush. [Via Wired.]
Posts tagged with "Fiber Optics":
Google’s grand experiment on the Great Plains, dubbed “Silicon Prairie” by some, is to revitalize Kansas City with superfast internet. That network hookup could make KC a hotspot for new businesses, too, according to some entrepreneurs eyeing the new “fiberhoods” where the infrastructure exists. Kansas City may not have aspirations to be the next Silicon Valley, but Google’s investment has invigorated the city’s startup culture. On top of efforts to clean up the region’s vacant land and the highly-anticipated return of KC's streetcar, startups are just one reason that Kansas City will be a city to watch.
Let There Be Light: Low Line Exhibit Mark Miller Gallery 92 Orchard Street Through April 29th, 12-6pm The team of innovators continues to push forward with a proposal for the Delancey Underground, transforming an underground trolley terminal into a public park for Manhattan’s Lower East Side. An exhibit detailing the proposal for the so-called “Low Line” will be running throughout April at the Mark Miller Gallery. The show entitled Let There Be Light was organized by Delancey Underground co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch in an effort to engage the public directly with the ideas and innovations underpinning the project. The design seeks to reclaim the abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal beneath Delancey Street, transforming the derelict space with the use of innovative solar reflectors and fiber optic cables into a sunlit subterranean park teeming with plant life. The show offers an opportunity to examine in close detail this elegant solar technology as well as early design prototypes, sketches and 3-D renderings of the proposal. Visitors are also encouraged to provide comments and suggestions for the scheme which will be reviewed by the designers as the project progresses. The month long display is part of a larger effort to move the design forward, the next key stage of which will be a full-scale installation of a segment of the park at the Essex Street Market to be completed in September. This will allow the community to inhabit and experience the park as it may some day feel. The proposition is an admirable and earnest reuse of the city’s urban infrastructure and an unexampled way of considering public space. Initiatives such as this may help maintain enthusiasm and momentum for the project among supporters and continue the public dialogue. Editor’s note: A Kickstarter campaign to build a demonstration segment of the Low Line has entered the final stretch with only a few hours left to contribute to the project, which has already substantially exceeded its goal of $100,000.