Studio Echelman installed its largest sculpture at the TED Conference’s 30th anniversary, March 2014. The monumental aerial sculpture spanned 745 feet between the 24-story Fairmont Waterfront and the Vancouver Convention Center, challenging the artist to work on her most ambitious scale yet – over twice the size of her largest previous sculpture.
The most interactive sculpture of this studio was presented with an original, interactive work created in collaboration with artist Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of the Data Arts Team in Google’s Creative Lab. At night the sculpture came to life as visitors were able to choreograph the lighting in real time using physical gestures on their mobile devices. Vivid beams of light were projected across a massive scale as the result of small movements on spectators’ phones. In the daytime, the sculpture’s delicate yet monumental form is subtle, blending in with clouds and sky. A complex matrix of 860,000 hand and machine-made knots and 145 miles of braided fiber weighing nearly 3,500 pounds span 745 feet make up Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks.
In order to achieve such scale and complexity, Echelman turned to Autodesk and they collaborated to create custom 3D software to model the sculpture and test its feasibility. Therefore it was possible to manipulate the design and to see the results immediately. The structure is made entirely of soft fibers and is attached directly into existing city architecture. The project embodies the infusion of art and technology, as both continuously evolve together. Read the rest of this entry »