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Cloud julio 6, 2008

Posted by christian saucedo in Technology research in surfaces.
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Tipo.  Desarrollo tecnológico . superficie auto activa

Autor. Curaduría de Artwise Curators, Manufactura de Mike Smith Studio, Sistema y control por Pharos Architectural Controls, Instalación por Alternative Access ltd

Investigación y desarrollo. Troika

Año. 2008

Web. http://troika.uk.com/cloud.htm

Imágenes. http://troika.uk.com/cloud.htm

Video. http://troika.uk.com/cloudvideos.htm

Vía. http://troika.uk.com

Descripción

En 2007 el colectivo ingles Trokia, fue comisionado por Artwise Curators para crear una pieza de arte que tendría como lugar de instalación la nueva Terminal 5 de British Airways en el aeropuerto de Heathrow, Londres.

En respuesta a esta convocatoria Tokia creo ‘Cloud’, una escultura suspendida de cinco metros de longitud que se caracteriza por su particular superficie, compuesta por 4,639 flip-dots los cuales pueden controlarse desde un ordenador de manera individual, logrando de esta forma animar la piel de la escultura.

Los flip-dots son elementos individuales que en conjunto creaban las pantallas instaladas en las estaciones de trenes y en los aeropuertos alrededor de las décadas de los 70´s y 80´s, a través de las cuales se mostraba la hora, el destino y demás información útil para los que se encontraban en estos espacios.

El orden, la materialidad, el sonido y la respuesta sicológica hacia estos elementos, fueron los conceptos que causaron asombro al colectivo Trokia, mismos que usaron para explorar el potencial estético de la pieza. Una impresionante nube material compuesta de claro/oscuros que reflejan los brillos y colores que le atacan, volviéndose una masa mecánica que es capaz de transformarse en un organismo vivo.

Sólo ocho meses bastaron (entre el concepto, la manufactura y la instalación) para ver a ‘Cloud’ flotar y animar con su brillo y sonido, el nuevo espacio de la Terminal 5 de British Airways. Una pieza que desde el día de su instalación causa asombro a quienes la admiran y contemplan. Una mole que refleja el trabajo de programadores, ingenieros, instaladores, artistas, diseñadores, etc. un sin fin de gente especializada que demostró a través del equipo multidisciplinario este sorprendente resultado.

Description

Troika has been commissioned by Artwise Curators to create a signature piece at the entrance of the new British Airways luxury lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5. 

In response, we created ‘Cloud’, a five meter long digital sculpture whose surface is covered with 4638 flip-dots that can be individually addressed by a computer to animate the entire skin of the sculpture. Flip-dots were conventionally used in the 70s and 80s to create signs in train-stations and airports. We were fascinated by their materiality, by the way they physically flip from one side to the other. The sound they generate is also instantly reminiscent of travel, and we therefore decided to explore their aesthetic potential in ‘Cloud’. 

By audibly flipping between black and silver, the flip-dots create mesmerising waves as they chase across the surface of ‘Cloud’. Reflecting its surrounding colours, the mechanical mass is transformed into an organic form that appears to come alive, shimmering and flirting with the onlookers that pass by from both above and below.

The sculpture is located in Terminal 5 in the atrium hall which leads to the British Airways First Class Lounges. The brief from British Airways was open and simple: to create a signature piece that will mark the entrance of the First Class Lounges and signify the transition between the busy shopping floor and the calm and serenity of the lounges. 

We started to work on the metaphor of clouds as one’s flies, and the contrast which exists between the busy, hectic airport experience, and the calm, luminous and ethereal world which we discover as we fly through this dense layer.

Another of our inspiration came from the old electromagnetic flip-dots which were used in railways and airport signs from the mid 70s. Those signs, with their characteristic flicking noise which instantly reminds us of travel, represent to us a golden age of technology, when analogue and digital started to merge. The indicators, dots which can flip from one side to the other with an electric impulse, have a fantastic materiality, a physicality which more modern technologies often lack, de-materialised into the virtual.

We dreamt of applying this redundant technology to our sculpture, to create a sort of living organism, a cloud which we could animate, exploring the aesthetic potential of the flip-dots. 

As the flip-dots flick we are instantly reminded of rippling water, of the mesmerizing movements of snakes and schools of fishes. We chose for that particular reason to create one side of the dots as silver mirror, to accentuate this feeling.

The project took 8 months in development, manufacturing and installation. Troika was responsible for the concept, design, executive design and engineering, project, production and installation management, and over-viewing all the operations from start to finish. 

We would like to thank British Airways and Artwise Curators for giving us the opportunity to create our most ambitious works to date, Mike Smith Studio for the manufacturing of the sculpture, Pharos Architectural Controls, and Alternative Access for the installation.

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