London-based United Visual Artists just opened a new immersive installation at MINI’s A/D/O creative space in Brooklyn. Titled ‘Spirit of the City’, the installation is made of 9-feet-tall rotating mirrored columns that are illuminated with sodium vapor lamps during nighttime for a transformative experience.
The modular system of revolving mirrored columns showcases a dynamic composition of movement, light, shadow and reflection. The seemingly organic behavior is poetically linked to the dynamic activity of New York City. Spirit of the City was created exclusively for the outdoor courtyard at A/D/O.
“Our goal was to create a simple, yet transformative experience that metaphorically and physically reflects the surroundings of A/D/O and New York City at large,” says Matt Clark, Founder of UVA.
The motion of the columns serves as a metaphor for the underlying forces that keep cities in constant transformation. Their combined rotation is orchestrated to create different patterns of motion, articulating a number of moods that range from dormant to dynamic, playful or even turbulent. These states unfold during a 24-hour cycle that has been pre-programmed to reflect the daily activity of New York, based on selected data that reveal levels of human activity in the city, such as energy demand patterns or traffic flow. UVA aims to stir the visitor, moving through this installation, to a highly emotional and visceral reaction while alluding to deeper influences between people and the cities they live in.
The polished reflective surface of each column magnifies the movement of neighboring columns and recruits the surrounding environment – the sun, sky, and Greenpoint’s industrial setting – into the experience of the piece. As day turns to dusk, the piece takes on another personality, illuminated by sodium vapor lamps which reference the unique vibrancy of cities at night.
Matt Clark, Founder of UVA says: “Imagination and curiosity—the qualities that make us human—flourish in New York City where the stark and intriguing contrast between the built environment and living ecosystem dominates individual observation and behavior. Ultimately, Spirit of the City intends to pose the question, do our activities define our urban landscapes or do our urban landscapes define us?”
The exhibit will represent the first significant showcase at A/D/O during NYCxDesign. Spirit of the City will be open to the public until September 2nd.