Part of a touring exhibition Umea was a series of light and ice installations meant to introduce the Swedish culture around Europe . This piece specifically was a large structure made of 48 tons of ice cubes with a light projection mapping designs that reflected the Northern lights. This piece is specifically designed and created to promote the Umea cultural society, by bringing the “Northern lights to Cities across Europe”. The use of ice as a pixel screen is a really creative system. This not only allows people on the exterior of the structure to view the light display, and glimpses of the interior, but creates an immersive space within the ice structure itself, transporting people to the northern sky.
This fits with Colangelo’s themes in the trans-local sense, as people are encouraged to take photos and share the experience with those who have interacted with it in different cities, as the focus is on an international cultural sharing experience. This piece is also large and visible in scale not only to an observer, but also in that the public can interact with the entire space, from exterior to interior.
BALLS! Is an interactive installation piece in which mechanically directed light spheres move based on data gathered from within the building, using input from physical sensors that measure energy consumption, number of people working, internet traffics, meeting room noise levels, and the amount of coffee being consumed. The staff working in the building played an important role in determining various behaviors for the motion and application of the spheres. This type of passive yet constantly changing and moving structure creates a dynamic space that directly feeds off the actions and interactions of the people seeing it, not because they are intending to interact with it, but because it is the everyday interactions of the people in the building, that powers and directs it. In this, they can see their own actions and those of others throughout the building in an exceptional way.
What I find fascinating about this piece is the combination of these controlled light systems and the much more (in a way natural) and uncontrollable properties of smoke (in how it moves, and the textures it creates). The relationship between this type of traditional, almost sauna-like setting as an architectural space with the artificial, moving lights creates a very interesting tension between the elements. The smoke and the way it interacts with both elements and rooms (being released when people sit in the back area, increasing in amount to create a haze with the lights) pulls it together into a very interesting single interactive space.