Lighting Design: New Projects
Axiom is an edifice of light, sculpted from a matrix of more than 700,000 LEDs.
Emerging as three symmetrically aligned archways, the installation presents a canvas for a series of video animations designed to embody and envelop its surfaces and contours.
Within Axiom exists a transition between form and illumination; the intent being to cause the observer to reconsider what is virtual and what is actual.
The animations and synchronised soundscapes provide an evolving syncopated framework, moving from meditative pulsations to rapid percussions, enhanced by hypnotic musical overtones.
As these audiovisual arrangements gradually unfold throughout the work, the elements of light, sound, space and time are explored, anatomised and re-invented.
This contortion of multiple compositional and choreographic techniques illustrates a consideration and deconstruction of materiality, with the objective of rebuilding it in an alternate mode.
Axiom breaks conventions by harnessing and re-appropriating the power of cutting-edge event technologies, software systems and construction techniques to evoke a new form of non-linear experiential response.
An appreciative whoop went up from the crowd gathered Thursday night as the switch was flipped on the latest light installation by San Antonio artist Bill FitzGibbons.
From a vantage point on the 21st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, members of the arts community and city officials watched as “Kinetic Skyline” illuminated the Bank of America Plaza with a display of blue and green light.
“I’m really over the moon about this project because with this tremendous support from the owners of the building we were able to realize one of the largest light sculptures in the state of Texas,” FitzGibbons said.
Located at 300 Convent Street near the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, the 28-story Bank of America Plaza is one of the tallest buildings downtown.
“It’s got all these stair step bays that go up along the side of the building, and so I thought that that would be really an interesting approach to go in there and emphasize those bays, which you visually can’t really see from a distance,” FitzGibbons said earlier.
Created with computerized LED lights, the effect of the installation is of a series of eight columns climbing up facades on the north and south sides of the building. FitzGibbons also created programs for holiday displays. Thursday night, he demonstrated the schemes for the Fourth of July and Fiesta.
The Bank of America Plaza is owned by Houston-based Griffin Partners and New York-based Clarion Partners. It is currently undergoing capital improvements.
“The building has had exterior lighting on it, I guess, since it was built,” said Lee Moreland, executive vice president of Griffin Partners. “It’s basically a dull, amber-colored lighting that we knew would need to be replaced, but not until the introduction to Bill did we contemplate that it could be something much more.”
FitzGibbons has created several light-based public artworks around the country. In San Antonio, they include “Centro Chroma Tower” at VIA’s Centro Plaza; “San Antonio Colorline” at the University Health Center-Downtown Brady Green Clinic; “Light Channels,” beneath the underpasses at Commerce and Houston streets; and “Day Star Archway” at the San Antonio International Airport.
He has received videos of bands performing and photos taken at the underpasses transformed by the installations.
“To me, that’s the magic and power of public art,” he said. “You can see that throughout the city where you go in and you do a public art piece like the Sebastian piece down by the Alamo or (Donald) Lipski’s internally lit fish hanging from the underpass on the Museum Reach or the George Schroeder sculptural wall that’s at the county courthouse downtown,” FitzGibbons said. “These projects really enliven our built environment and create a magic that contributes to the quality of life of urban living.”
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