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Fish Bellies is permanent sculptural installation for a residential housing courtyard at Texas State University. Composed of layers of frosted acrylic, the sculpture’s large biomorphic forms draw inspiration from the social and biological diversity of the nearby San Marcos River reflecting parallels between its ecological life and the University’s varied student body. Formally, Fish Bellies mirrors the progression of an abstract school of fish. During the day, the piece’s translucency operates like an ethereal anatomy whereas at night it transforms into a bioluminescent landscape. This organic tableau is meant to spark additional interest in the unique biology found on campus.
Fish Bellies generates a new student landmark inviting people to climb into and on top of the interlocking series of glowing enclosures. The sculpture encourages socialization while respecting individual space. The illuminated compartments form protective rooms that surround the inhabitant with the colored light of their choosing.
Fish Bellies represents a singular integration of monumental acrylic forms and interactive electronics. Embedded in each belly are two touch-sensitive controllers, which allow the public to transform the piece by curating the color and saturation levels of the internal LED lighting. Fish Bellies invites a higher degree of communal engagement and control than typically experienced in permanent public art installations by allowing people to compose unique light environments.