Bloomington Trades District Public Art

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Artist Team: Jiangmei Wu, Lucas Brown, Brian McCutcheon

As a new icon for innovation and connectivity for Bloomington’s Trades District, Orix is inspired by naturally occurring origami folds. ‘Ori’ means fold in Japanese and ‘X’ refers to both the seed of the origami folds and the ambiguous, futuristic, and bionic form that results from the folding and distorting process. In nature, folding can be seen everywhere, and for some scientists, nature, at both the macroscopic and microscopic level, ‘folds’ rather than ‘builds.’ Through the manipulation of folds, colors, light, and its conversation with the people who come to experience it, Orix, as a mystical being, actively engages, encloses, protects, and connects the Trades District site and the community.

Light, if rendered into art, must be transmitted and transformed through multiple materials. Non-material light, either emitted or reflected, interplays with a material surface that is folded from thin aluminum sheets and perforated with generative patterns inspired by Indiana limestone fossils. When light interacts with the mountains and valleys of the perforated surface, it is transmitted and reflected through the porosity of the colored aluminum. The folded form anchors to the ground plane through a series of similarly faceted limestone benches.

The design draws from local inspiration at multiple scales. The color palette pulls from the interplay between autumn foliage, sky, and water. The folded form references the order and chaos found in piles of discarded limestone in area quarries, while the porosity is inspired by overlapping crinoid patterns.

The generative seed of Orix is a triply periodic bi-foldable mathematical surface that is the result of a collaboration between IUB mathematician Matthias Weber and artist/designer Jiangmei Wu. The DNA of the surface is an ‘X’ shaped vertex that can be aggregated in three-dimensional space. Through a process of adding, subtracting, folding, and distorting, Orix can be generated and optimized into various potential solutions based on artistic compositions, engineering analyses, and community engagement.

A folding workshop and collaborative ideation session will be used to familiarize community members with the form-making process and to allow participants to provide design input. The artist team will use feedback from the session to help define the final location, form, pattern, and colors.

Bloomington Grand Barbican

Bloomington Grand Barbican

Artist Team: Jennifer Riley and hatiK|B

Bloomington Grand Barbican is a public work of art that is a manifestation of the unique community from which it takes its name. Its character is aspirational, yet firmly rooted in local values. The Barbican is situated in a way that it acts as both a community beacon, as well as a public destination. As a beacon, its height, bright colored panels, and glowing light make it easily discernible from a distance, and thus provides public way-finding within the new Trades District. As a public destination, it provides a playful and inviting space of community in the heart of the new district.

Limestone seating, table height plinths and seating at the base of the beacon invites a range of activity from meeting up for tea and picnics during the workday to exercise, lounging and dreaming. The nearby larger area left open for flexible use; activities such as yoga, children's birthday parties, athletic group meeting points, etc.

As the site is visible and accessible from many directions, it can serve as a reference point for where you are in the city. The purpose of the design is to reflect the artwork as a focus for pivoting around the site, while the shaping of the beacon itself suggests dynamic centrifugal force. Curved sheets of perforated steel stretch skyward as a bright, colorful, optimistic expression of renewal, hope and faith in a shared future. The Indiana limestone pedestals speak to the history and landscape surrounding Bloomington.

These materials are taken directly from the waste of local fabrication processes - had they not been used in the work of public art, they would have been consigned as scrap. This acts as a public expression of sustainability - demonstrating Bloomington's commitment to preserving a better world for future generations - and it is a bold statement that powerfully connects this work of public art to the actual lives of the community that it will serve.

Stefan Reiss - O.T. 987

Stefan Reiss - O.T. 987

My most recent art works are interventions in public space, at festivals or in exhibitions that appeal to a wide range of visitors. They can be understood worldwide and invite everyone to experience them, beyond any borders.

The basis of all my works is the examination of the long history of sculpture and installation on the one hand and modern, social changes, technical inventions and future developments on the other. We are currently in the process of implementing one of the greatest transformations in recent history: the digital transformation. There‘s nearly no area of life, which isn‘t affected by these massive changes.

But with this transformation a new insurmountable gap occurs between our self, the human body and its digital representation (for example on social media channels). All current digital technologies lack essential sensory experiences, precisely because they can usually only be experienced via a screen. Our digital experiences are subject to a number of limitations, certain senses are even completely excluded from the wealth of experience, such as smell, taste or touch.

My great interest in modern technologies, but also the almost overpowering development of digital media, led to a completely new confrontation with contemporary sculpture: the fusion of sculptural form and the digital world. My very own interest is in the sense of touch and the spatial understanding of this world. For me, therefore, a modern sculpture must be both real and spatially experienceable, with the whole body and all the senses. At the same time, it has to open the door to an exciting digital world, that can be experienced with the whole body.

The basis of „O.T. 987“ are four independent lines in the basic colours red, yellow and blue, supplemented by white, which move through space in four strands as three-dimensional signs. The individual colour lines seem to repeat themselves, but still form an individual course, overlapping and creating spaces in between. Each side of the sculpture surprises with a completely new view. During the day, the basic colours plus white determine the entire sculpture.

The sculpture consists of square tubes, one side of each element being fitted with Plexiglas in the same colour. LEDs are installed in the square tubes, which are activated and controlled by a computer in the dark. A programmed choreography of the LEDs is played over a fixed period of time (e.g. 30 min.) and brings the sculpture to life at night.

During the day, the colors red, yellow and blue, or white, are separate, overlapping color strands. During the nocturnal LED programming, the luminous individual colours are transformed into exciting nuances, the light now mixes and illuminates in different shades, the basic colours are joined by new shades that create a special colour spectrum with the natural surroundings.

The sizes of the sculpture would be: Height 8,5 m, width 9,5 m and depth 6,30 m. The size of the steel tubes would be between 10 and 13 cm. „O.T. 987“ (Untitled 987) is a stunning, experienceable sculpture, which closes the gap between modern technologies and the history of sculpture.

Andrea Stanislav - Mirror Transmission

Andrea Stanislav - Mirror Transmission

My proposed work is a series of mirror polished stainless steel sonic sculptures that encompass two sites at the location, suggesting a drawing in space. At one site (site A), chimes within the sculpture will be tuned to sound a major chord, suggesting the 19th-century roots of the site and the cultural milieu of the Showers brothers.

At the second site (site C), the same notes will be used, but in a modal rather than major chord harmonic relationship. The modal scale will suggest a more opened ended sonic experience that evokes the future of the Trades District. The overall sonic experience will be complementary yet differentiated — the past moving into the future. The sculptures will contain X shapes, referencing the human female chromosome, creating a visual correlative with the progressive ideas of the Showers brothers and with the future of the site.

Knowledge of the site’s history is not a prerequisite for enjoyment and appreciation of the work. It will function as a point of destination for the public within the Trades District, transforming pedestrians into participants should they wish to enter the sculpture itself. The sculpture also contains a temporal element that will reward those pause to look and listen. Seen in daylight, the constantly changing reflections of the sky and landscape in the mirrored surfaces will work in tandem with the always morphing melodies of the chimes. At night, only the chimes will be lit, with the rest of the sculpture in darkness. Consequently, at any time of day or night, one may have an immersive experience unique to the site.

Ben Zamora - Exhale

Ben Zamora - Exhale

I make work that connects people and place and creates experiences. For this project, the Trades District is anchored with a bold sculpture marking an evolution into the future. this new sculpture serves as a gateway, embracing how we intersect as a community. Vibrantly colored frames echo a state of transition and capture the energy of an ever-expanding city. The open space between the frames collaborates with the surrounding environment; as the area continues to grow it remains visually incorporated to the sculpture. at one end of the sculpture a light stands, integrated into a steel element; as day shifts to night the outsides of the sculpture fade into darkness and the middle of the sculpture remains illuminated, standing as a beacon in the night. from afar, this sculpture draws the viewer in; once up close, the sculpture is interactive, allowing viewers to walk through and experience the color transition from one end to the other.