Light Cycles - LED Art Installation by Anne Militello

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Light Cycles - LED Art Installation by Anne Militello

Read More

Light Cycles - LED Art Installation by Anne Militello

The World Financial Center recently unveiled “Light Cycles”, an artistic installation piece commissioned by Arts Brookfield and created by internationally acclaimed designer Anne Militello.  The piece seeks to create visuals of colors and patterns in light inspired by nature, while also paying service to the cycles of life interpreted in light.  Militello’s finished product featured not only a one-of-a-kind design, but also one-of-a-kind kind custom LED work from the 4Wall Systems & Design team.

Approached about creating a visual inside the ten story World Financial Center atrium, Militello proposed her design more than five years before the actual installation of the project.  Despite economic concerns pushing the project back to a 2012 start date, Arts Brookfield remembered Militello’s proposal for the space above all others once funding returned early last year.

With a due date in site and funding secured, Militello began looking for a means of creating her vision – described in her Artist’s Statement as “Celebrating the visual transformations of nature as expressed through richly shifting colors of light energy.” 

To do this, Militello would seek to compose a piece consisting of shimmering pendants or light ‘jewels’ that were active both day and night.  The pendants would be programmable and also create the illusion of transparency and varied color depending on the viewer’s movement in the space.

Militello debated different light sources as possibilities for creating the illusion, but budgetary constraints and other factors prevented a clear solution.

Cue the 4Wall Systems team.

After meeting with Militello, project managers from 4Wall Systems created a design for an LED disk that would allow the project to be completed on time and stay within budget.  By building the disks in house at 4Wall, not only was the cost right, but the originality of the piece itself was enhanced.

“4Wall continually impressed me throughout the project,” said Militello.  “Everything they spoke of doing, they were able to accomplish from start to finish.  It was very refreshing.”

As the deadline for the installation approached, 4Wall Project Manager Kelly Easterling met with Militello and programmer Ryan O’Gara on site to finish the installation and programming. 

“At this point, I was afraid the networking component portion of the installation would take at least a week to get sorted out.  Kelly and the 4Wall team were able to get the signals to the disks almost instantly,” said Militello.

In programming the looks for the World Financial Center, Militello took into account a number of factors to ensure that ‘Light Cycles’ fit the mood of each day.  Using Mosaic control, she established different patterns and colors that coincide with life events, such as the slow ramping of excitement from week to weekend, and the pacing of the week from day to night.  The lively nights of the weekend even include faster paced color changes and movements.

Easterling spoke of working with Militello, as well as the effect of the piece on the venue:

“Our Systems division thrives when faced with producing custom LED products on short notice.  Working on a project of this scale with Anne Militello was a delight.  Due to the use of sustainable LED technology, as well as the ability to constantly update and change the look and feel of the piece, I believe ‘Light Cycles’ will continue to be a staple of the World Financial Center for years to come.”

‘Light Cycles’ is currently running throughout March, and admission to view is free to the public.  The dazzling light show located inside the ten story glass pavilion can be seen as far away as across the Hudson in New Jersey, and is sure to capture those searching for the installation as well as those simply passing by.

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