Ice as Medium

posted in: Medium 0


Jim Denevan, ‘Drawing on Ice’, Lake Balkai, southwestern Siberia, 2010
Photo via jimdenevan

Jim Denevan and team created a nine square mile ‘ice drawing’ described as a “brilliant pattern . . . Russian pilots who initially refused to do a second pass of the project gave in after seeing how beautiful it was.” The project is a remarkable achievement in teamwork logistics and geometric precision in a remote and bitterly cold location.


Nele Azevedo, ‘1,000 Melting Men’, Gendarmenmarkt Square, Berlin, Germany, 2009
Photo via juxtapose

The warmer months of Berlin provided appropriate temperatures for the ‘melting men’ installation. The impressive abundance of carved ice figures made their statement slowly melting and ceasing to exist. Nele Acevedo has re-created the installation internationally in the promotion of global concern for polar regions.


Andy Goldsworthy, ‘Ice Spiral (Tree Soul)’, Dumfries, Scotland, 1995
Photo via beautifuldecay

‘Ice Spiral’ is an expression of Andy Goldsworthy’s ability to expose nature’s beauty in sensational form. In Scotland’s frosty winters, Goldsworthy dons fingerless gloves to create the icy fragile beauty of ‘land art’ sculptures on an intimate scale.


Iridescence 1

posted in: Light 0


Occurrence of iridescence in nature has inspired artists and architects to mimic the phenomenon with playful and entertaining works using man-made iridescent materials, at times cleverly enhanced by customized lighting. As angles of light change, disturbed refraction or interference of light causes subtle modifications to create changing displays of the rainbow colors of iridescence.


Oil slick reveals the colors of iridescence that capture the imagination.
Photo via commonswikimedia


Hiro Yamagata, ‘Quantum Field X3,’ Installation, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, 2004
Man-made iridescence with laser beams projected on holographic panels of the two cube buildings.
Photo via guggenheim-bilbao 


The tiny squid’s symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria creates stunning iridescence.
Photo via otlibrary


SOFTlab, ‘Ventricle’ installation at Southbank Centre’s ‘London Festival of Love’, England
Solar-mirror film exhibits synthetic iridescence supported by aluminum framework.  
Photo via designboom



posted in: Motion 0


Photo:  Roman Signer, ‘Wasserstiefel’, time-sculpture,
Weissbad, Switzerland, 1986.  Photo via anteism

Roman Signer’s creative, entertaining and sometimes deceptively simple ‘time-sculptures’ and installations employ skillfully applied aspects of engineering and the visual arts – photography, video, sculpture, installation and pyrotechnics. “Signer generates a poetics whose tones range from the melancholy to the thrilling, from the charming to the violent, from the grave to the frankly, irresistibly silly


Ki Chul Kim, setting for ‘Sound Looking Rain’ at the California Institute of the Arts,
Los Angeles, CA, 2007.  Photo via transition-turbulence

Ki Chul Kim’s sound installations investigate “the nature of perception and representation in relation to the Buddhist concept of emptiness . . . [inducing] us to float between the opposing forms of sight and sound. Kim also references a formal minimalism as we experience the shifting relationships between sound, speakers, the gallery space and our bodies.



posted in: Light 0


Nils Voelker, ’64 CCFL’, partial glow of cold cathode flluorescent lamps, 2012
Photo via triangluation

Fluorescence is scientifically defined as “The giving off of light by a substance when it is exposed to electromagnetic radiation, such as [ultraviolet light] . . . as long as electromagnetic radiation continues to bombard the substance.” In terms of the definition, Nils Voelker’s fluorescent installation exhibits admirable aesthetic control of cold cathode current. Custom electronics control the mercury vapor’s emission of UV to ‘bombard’ only a portion of each lamp’s phosphor coating.


Richard Box, fluorescent tubes not-plugged-in, located in England in 2002
Photo via industrytap

The tubes are glowing but not plugged in. The field was planted with 1,301 fluorescent tubes. Overhead electrical transmission lines provided the sole source of power. Radiation energy was absorbed from the electromagnetic field of the powerline – allowing each tube’s mercury gas to emit UV light ‘bombarding’ the phosphor coating to create the glow of fluorescence.


Stuart Williams, ‘Luminous Earth Grid’, fluorescent tubes plugged in north of San Franciisco California, 1993
Photo via designboom

The ‘Luminous Earth Grid’ occupied ten acres with1,680 fluorescent tubes describing contours of the rolling land. Unlike Richard Box’s not-plugged-in ‘Field’, the ultraviolet-related fluorescence of the ‘Grid’ was activated by electrical current. The ‘Grid’ was plugged in by cable connected to nearby powerlines with an additional 12 miles of electrical wiring for the fluorescent tubes.



posted in: Light 0


Tokachi River Ice’ also known as ‘Jewel Ice’, a phenomenon at the mouth of the Tokachi River, Hokkaido, Japan
Photo via science alert

In winter the Tokachi River’s fresh water freezes. Ice breaks away and returns tumbled and polished by ocean waves. The ice has a translucence unique to the Tokachi – a glowing diffusion that moves beyond precise definition.


Nobuhiro Nakanishi,  ‘Layered Drawing’ series, laser prints on acrylic sheets, 2016
Layered translucent photographs display a dreamlike vision of scenery subtly changing with passing time.
Photo via nobuhironakanishi


Architect He Wei, ‘Papa’s Hostel‘ renovated with polycarbonate panels, Pingtian, China
Translucent wheeled rooms create flexible airiness within traditional framework of local architecture.
Photo via dezeen


Italian Pavilion‘, Expo Shanghai 2010, Shanghai, China
Concrete containing optical fibers brings translucence to the solidity of the Italian pavilion.
Photo via heidelbergcement


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