Crystal Flight, 2011
Proposal for TELUS World of Science, Calgary, July 2011.
In Crystal Flight we witness energy being transformed as it is released from one form before being harnessed into another. Waves and vortices are organizing principles of energy and the elements in this artwork.
The architecture of the TELUS Science Center marries geometry, that only exists in abstract thought, with organic forms of nature. Crystal Flight combines the flat plane and grid with energy waves as geometry transforms into organic form.
Water is a unique material in our universe as it is constantly shifting its state between solid, liquid and gas. Each of these transitions involves energy exchange. Water is also at the center of our awareness of the environmental threat to our planet. We see the exchanges of energy in water in its different forms daily as key forces our environment: the melting of the ice caps, the droughts, floods, the warming of the seas producing violent weather systems.
With frost we see evidence of the energy captured ‘in motion’ as water molecules have moved from a gas directly to a crystal. Time, speed, the invisible nature of the universe: these are all suggested in Crystal Flight. The images etched into the glass are examples of growth patterns throughout nature so the work is less about frost than about energy manifesting in growth structures.
Programmable lighting systems create a flowing movement of color and light across Crystal Flight with waves of intensity and color. During daytime, sunlight from the skylight plays across the glass making some areas highly visible while others almost disappear. The lighting program with color would be visible in the daytime as well as at night and can be programmed to reflect the events in the space. These etched panels can be projection panels for a variety of light shows. The natural air movement within the atrium space will move the squares in gentle rhythms. The artwork has a presence at night from outside the center both from the atrium front wall as well as the stairwell skylight.