Abby Stiers, Alexander Gross, Isabelle Pelissier

LIght, Variable, 2013-14

Light, Variable consists of a kinetic sculpture outside of the IMRC building, a responsive video piece in the entry way and an LED channel across the front of the building.  The sculpture acts as an instrument that measures the direction and speed of the wind. A camera tracks the sculpture and assigns numeric values based on the amount of movement and the position of the sculpture in space. The video uses the speed and direction of the wind to rearrange and visualize words from historic letters and journal entries that correspond to the current date.
The rhythms and repetitions that result from the changes in wind speed draw attention to the immediate moment and environment.  As words are rearranged, new meanings will be suggested.  We are interested in the idea that the viewers may resonate with chance phrases that seem to prophetically relate to their own lives, lending significance to mundane events.  Because journal entries are used as a source text, the descriptive language relates to the colors of the seasons, length of the days and events related to the time of year, providing opportunities for correlations with the lives of the viewers.  At the same time, the ever changing lexicon may suggest unfamiliar times, places or states of mind.
If the sculpture is an instrument, and the poetry of the video installation can be thought of as lyrics, then the LED Channel forms a musical accompaniment. The LEDs are programmed to create a interactive color space responding to data from the wind as well as human activity around the building (like the opening and closing of the front door). The interaction between data streams and the physical channel itself forms a connection between the projection and the main entrance- way of the building, connecting users of the building with the video installation.