1. Wind Wall is a 32’ high and 85’ long wall of wind-activated pendulums covering the entire front façade of LIGO’s Science Education Center. Each pendulum is magnetically coupled with its neighbor so that the whole wall reveals beautiful fluid-like motions as energy is transferred from one pendulum to the next. The artwork transforms a static building façade into a slowly undulating surface similar to a large piece of fabric rippling in the wind. With winds greater than 15 knots, the wall’s coherent wave-like movement becomes more chaotic as the pendulums break their mutual magnetic coupling. The pendulums can also be manually activated by LIGO Science Education Center visitors.

    Developed through a unique collaboration between Exploratorium artists Shawn Lani, Charles Sowers, and Peter Richards, LIGO scientists, the engineering firm, High Precision Devices, and the architect, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, the artwork mirrors the themes of the Science Center - wave propagation, gravity, resonance and light - and is directly related to LIGO's mission to detect gravitational waves.

    LIGO (Laser Inferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory)
    Livingston Parish, LA

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  4. Waiting for Spring is an art video that looks at the environmental impact of climate change. Set in the near future where the food economy has collapsed due the devastating effects of wild fires on local croplands, we meet Persephone living alone in an abandoned fruit orchard warehouse. She survives by scavenging for pomegranates and making her clothing out of the peels.
    This film celebrates one person’s ingenuity and adaptability in a desolate dystopian word. It is the first in an upcoming trilogy, which will in turn examine desertification and floods.

    Waiting for Spring was conceived and directed by environmental artist Nicole Dextras and it features the latest design from her Weedrobes series. Known for creating garments out of living plant materials, Dextras dresses her lead character in a a jacket made from Pomegranate peels, a skirt woven with Dates and boots fashioned out of Fruit Leather. The production design plays off of the conventional sci-fi genre with an earthy Steampunk look, where chairs are covered in moss and a respirator mask is filled with herbs.

    The storyline abstractly refers to the goddess Persephone, who returns once a year to inaugurate the spring and who is detained in Hades because she ate pomegranate seeds. Our character eats the pomegranate not as a punishment as in the Greek myth but instead for it's healing properties to help her survive and re-integrate into the world.

    Writer, Director: Nicole Dextras
    Cast: Nita Bowerman
    Editor: Alexander Farah
    Camera: Paolo Pennuti, Riley McMaster, Velcrow Ripper
    Camera Assistant: Moses Aaron Goldfarb
    Set and Wardrobe: Nicole Dextras
    Props: Tanya Hockley, Evgenia Pankeeva
    Special Effects: Scott Zechner
    Makeup and Hair: Keith Murray
    Music: Hildegard Westerkamp and Mathias Grassow
    Special thanks to: Nova Ami, Maksim Bentsianov, Jeffrey Elrick, Annat Kennet, Miles Lavkulich, Peter Lang, Velcrow Ripper, Jordi Sancho

    Filmed footage from Metamorphosis is used with the permission of Chrysalis Pictures Inc.

    © Nicole Dextras, 2016

    # vimeo.com/185983515 Uploaded 643 Plays 1 Comment
  5. Choreographer Jody Sperling had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to the Arctic to dance. She participated in a polar science mission to the Chukchi Sea, north of the Bering Strait, as the first-ever choreographer-in-residence aboard the USCGC Healy. During the journey, she danced on sea ice at a dozen ice deployments. The footage from these in situ performances has been edited here by Ben Harden and Amanda Kowalski into a short movie. For more info about Jody's Arctic experience and upcoming related projects: timelapsedance.com/arctic-spring/

    Choreography & Performance: Jody Sperling
    Video Editing: Ben Harden & Amanda Kowalski
    Camera: Frank Bahr, Pierre Coupel & Jody Sperling
    Music: Beo Morales & Brooks Williams
    Costume Design: Mary Jo Mecca & Gina Nagy Burns in collaboration with Jody Sperling
    Costume Construction: Mary Jo Mecca | Costume Painting: Gina Nagy Burns

    Special thanks to the entire HL1401 crew and science party, especially Robert Pickart, Chris Polashenski, the Taukuvik team, BMCM Tim Sullivan, Executive Officer Stanclik and Captain Reeves.

    # vimeo.com/106821537 Uploaded 3,994 Plays 0 Comments

Art and the Environment

Susan Cushing

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