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.
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’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.”
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.
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.
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.
The conceptually extravagant megastructure called ‘Sity’ is a design proposal for the city of Shanghai – likened to a gigantic dragon coiling its way through the city. At times the structure reaches 60 stories in height as it loops its way over a man-made river and park. It is designed as a multi-purpose structure with an internal transit system serving upper floors of the ‘Sity’ and touching down at various points to provide access to the activities of the city.
This striking concept for the new museum and workshop space for the Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piquet feels as thought it emerged naturally from the surrounding gently rolling landscape. An aesthetic double spiral sequences the indoor space into a logical continuum for visitors as though representing the inner workings of a beautifully designed watch. The roof and ceiling are designed as a single piece of metal undulating to allow interplays of interior lighting and daylight.
The simple and elegant bridge over the river Thames will be the first bridge for cyclists and pedestrians in central London. The photo itself has a Turner-esque quality and the spiral ramps at each end give it an alive spring-like feeling. One of the challenges is to give the bridge height above the Thames to allow movement of river traffic without an excessively steep incline for cyclists and pedestrians.
Smithson’s famous large-scale earthwork ‘Spiral Jetty’ was recently recognized by the state of Utah as an official state work of land art. Located in the algae-reddish northeastern shore of Great Salt Lake, the jetty is designed to be several inches above the water level. Depending on the season, it may be fully submerged or exposed on the dry salt flat. 15 feet wide and 1500 feet long, the jetty used more than 6000 tons of rock and earth. The art historical significance and beauty of the jetty in its remote location will continue to attract visitors to walk the spiral in the drier seasons and perhaps the wet.
Cara Phillips has created a fascinating contemplative-feeling portrait portfolio inspired by ultraviolet photography used in the medical profession to visualize the ‘state of the skin’. The project reveals “every tiny little imperfection across a person’s face. To produce the black and white series, the artist set up on the streets of New York with a sign that said ‘Free Portraits’. Any willing participants agreed to sit down right there [close their eyes] and have their photo taken underneath a UV light.” –fstoppers
The ultraviolet photo was taken while the sun was eclipsed by Venus in 2013. Telescopes in NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) are able to reveal in stunning detail the sun’s extreme ultraviolet activity that takes place unseen by the human eye. As described by NASA the eclipsed sun “was imaged in three colors of ultraviolet light by the Earth-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, with the dark region toward the right corresponding to a coronal hole. . . . The next Venusian solar eclipse will occur in 2117.”