The idea behind the Lean Series of Lighted Art Objects is to communicate the general architectural imagery, in a small abbreviated scale that provides an ambient presence when placed on a table. The concept is similar to editing a story down to the least number of words, while still communicating the intended imagery.
Initially, I created 6 variations that range from Deco to Brutal. These artist proofs are one-off items, meaning these are part of an exploration of the forms, involving significant hand working to produce. Future objects may follow, but these will not be reproduced as they are shown.
The soft light from the OLED panels provides a pleasant reading light, while the dual face also illuminates the wall or surfaces behind, adding to ambient illumination in addition to adding artistic detail to an interior.
Center peices are commonplace. Lighted centerpieces not illuminated by candles are not. The reason is fairly simple – no power available.
I created an architecturally inspired Lighted Art Object as a center peice for a dining or conference table.
The base includes a 10Ah lithium battery pack that is rechargeable through a detachable charger. It testing the finished piece, it lasted 60 hours at a medium low setting (35% brightness), and 13 hours at the highest brightness setting. With (4) OLED sources, both ambient and more functional task lighting are both possible.
The concept is derived from the low, extended rooflines of Wright architecture, as well as a little from Meese Van der Roe.
Total height was kept below 11.5″ to avoid people sitting across the table being obstructed from seeing one another. It’s general scale will work for a table from 30″ to 36″ wide.
The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is a familiar icon of the city. Building started in 1969, opening in 1972, it stood ready to take on the worst quakes of the region.
My take on the iconic pyramid
I remember the stories about its design approach and why the shape was chosen.
My take features the pyramid – but also includes expression of the structural base. with an internal pyramid reflector element. I also created lighted features at the base and exaggerated the expressed elevator core wings as lighting features. The open mid section captures the open and lighted feeling one gets when approaching the structure from the ground level. I also opened the peak section, as a nod to the two lighted window sections.
The inspiration for Invaders was the early days of science fiction that involved special effects filmed with models hung from wires, and story lines of saucers from Mars coming here to destroy us for no apparent reason. We watched these films from behind steamed up windshields at drive-in theaters, where the stars shown from the grand abyss over the top of the screen – reminding us we knew little about what there was “out there.”
No matter how bad the acting (and it could be truly horrible), or how silly the effects were, we still felt uneasy and went home looking into the sky and wondering… what if?
Invaders is inspired by the imagery of saucers coming at us, from nowhere, bent on destruction. Like Vikings of the distant future, not bothering to communicate (with some notable exceptions). In this case, a flight of three doing a fly-by through the smoke rising from the destroyed landscape below.
While I enjoy the special effects generated by CG today, and the accompanying sound tracks, a part of me will always be in the model makers, physical stop frame animators and the mechanical contrivances of animatronics craftsman. They made things from clay, plaster, fiberglass, wood, metal, and their blood, sweat and tears – making space invaders real. In those days, computers were as big as semi-trucks, and oh so slow. Star Wars (1977) could arguably be pointed to as the apex of this genre of model and puppet based animation. It, along with Star Trek, presented the real shift away from anonymous invaders came from films like ‘West World’ ‘Logan’s Run’, ‘TH-1138’ and ‘Silent Running’, when it all became about first person “we” dealing with our dystopia or invasions – which ended the reign of ‘It Came from Outer Space’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ as the thriller premise of choice.
While driving across the country (Boise Idaho, to Bordentown New Jersey),19 years old, on my way to my first assignment in the USAF, I was struck by many new experiences and sights. Prior to this trip, the largest city I had ever visited was Seattle. So, when I came off the plains of Wyoming, through Nebraska, Iowa, and Western Illinois, the skyline of Chicago came at me like a beacon from nowhere. Standing proud of the already impressive structures, was the Sear’s Tower, just 4 years old, black, ominous, and the tallest building I had ever seen. A full 104 stories taller than the One Capitol building in Boise, and towering 66 stories over 901 5th Avenue in Seattle. All I could think when seeing the Sears tower for the first time was “Wow!”
To say that the experience left an impression would be an understatement. Looking down from the observation deck on the 103rd floor was mind bending, and intimidating to someone who had only flown in an airplane twice, before the experience.
My 1973 object is inspired by that iconic Chicago structure and homage to the impression it left on me.
From small Northwest towns where the tallest structures around were grain silos and water towers, with a desire to see new things and travel, I knew at that moment – I was on the right path.
This recent work is inspired by the ironwork of the late 19th century. While we see this still exposed on bridge construction today, ironwork is the skeleton of brick structures over a few stories, and for the most part, remains within the skyscrapers to this day.
I’ve always been fascinated by the cold riveted assemblies of a million parts, that come together to create rugged, stiff, long lasting structures. Assuming they are cared for properly.
In the case of this particular presentation, I’ve finished the surface in iron and applied a chemical to produce the rust patina, then clear coated it to make it touchable. This is how most iron looks exposed to the weather in the Desert Southwest, where trusswork was used heavily in mining operations. Artifacts of this type stand after a hundred years of exposure.
After the effort of creating 16 new objects simultaneously, a process I was familiar with from the 52 in 52 exercise, it feels great to have these first pieces done, photographed and finally live. I took this opportunity to explore a wide range of approaches, forms, and general approaches. The intent was to see what felt the most right, and what felt the least right as I actually completed each work piece. I also discovered many areas of improvement I will be making in construction, forms, finishing processes, and ultimately scale and design vocabulary. This infinite and never ending “Work in Process” state of being is what makes this so compelling. I won’t always get it right, but even when I’m wrong, I gain something from it.