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“As you walk through the tunnel, as you cycle through, a swarm of fireflies – above you, below you – gathers around you & lights your way; one sparkle attracts another, like a magnet…” explains Vito Acconci, founder of Acconci Studio based in New York City. “When someone passes you, when someone comes toward you, some sparkles veer off in a different direction, and a new flock of fireflies emerges.”
When Vito Acconci, the principal designer at Acconci Studio, was invited to visit Indianapolis in 2007, he asked to be taken to the Cultural Trail’s biggest design problem. Mindy Taylor Ross, the Trail’s curator and public art coordinator, took Acconci to the Virginia Avenue garage, a dark space adjacent to both the NBA basketball arena and the Marion County jail. The garage straddles Virginia Avenue, the most direct route from the city center to the historic urban neighborhoods of Fletcher Place and the Fountain Square Cultural District. The Cultural Trail’s management and design team knew that the Trail’s design should provide a reconnection between the downtown core and these important urban neighborhoods. CICF and the City of Indianapolis always knew that this space would need a superb artist at the helm and additional financial resources to transform this space from a dark, intimidating place to a dynamic, illuminated corridor that urban dwellers and families alike would feel safe visiting and comfortable walking and riding through.
“Swarm Street” is composed of a thousand LED-lights embedded in the pavement and another thousand LED-lights within an open steel-framework above. As one walks through, as one cycles through, one activates sensors that turn on lights that swarm around you as you move. Each sensor informs its neighbors, so that lights start to turn on as you approach them & start turning off as you move further away. These swarms not only demarcate a user’s personal space but they signify when our space joins another, symbolically blurring the lines between public and private, individual and community.
Vito Acconci is one of the most important figures in art and architecture working today. From his days as a poet in the mid-1960’s, to his groundbreaking performance works of the 1970’s, and finally to the founding of Acconci Studio in 1988 to realize architecture and public-space projects, Acconci has pushed from one discipline to the next while always thinking about language and the boundaries of the body. Seminal public projects include Mur Island, 2003, Graz, Austria, where the studio designed a floating island that houses a theatre, cafe, and playground.
Listen to an interview with Vito Acconci about this project by clicking here. Learn more about the artwork by visiting here.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents provides our most vulnerable neighbors with comfortable and inviting pavilions for reading and listening to audio books. The project has been conceived and designed in direct collaboration with the “neighbors” of Horizon House who are experiencing homelessness. The structures will be fabricated off site but will be assembled and finished on site with the help of the Horizon House community, providing temporary employment to a group of neighbors.
The name Table of Contents reflects the project’s guiding conceptual framework: to provide ample space (a table) to hold books and audio CDs (contents) in a way that invites users to discover and interact with an expansive collection of materials. Similar to the manner in which a book’s table of contents presents an organizing guide to the contents within, our design aims to provide users a number of welcoming but unexpected points of entry into the pavilion and the materials therein.
The form of each pavilion derives from a large volume from which a room was carved out. The surfaces were then shaped to create small, intimate spaces for reading, writing, and listening. The result is a small refuge nested within an otherwise large and open Horizon House room. This large piece of furniture warmed by natural materials and daylight becomes an inviting place to read. Individuals experiencing homelessness and spending time at Horizon House might need space for both themselves and for socializing and connecting with other people. The resulting geometry balances individual, private space with opportunities for socializing and small group dynamics. A mashup of table, bookshelf, reading desk, and seating bench, Table of Contentsinhabits a scale somewhere between furniture and architecture.
The answer is in the question.
Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center serves approximately 250 people a day in inner-city southwest Indianapolis. The Center commits to help, serve, and connect neighbors to additional resources. The Center supports learning, work, and community opportunities to help those who want to improve their situation today and take steps toward a better tomorrow.
This design, in the shape of a life-size question mark, becomes a mascot to the idea that knowledge is available at our fingertips as we ask the questions and look for the answers. The answer is in the question. It has a strong conceptual relationship to the type of work that is accomplished daily by the Mary Rigg Center. The question mark as a book share station also comments on a topic of social significance with the idea of libraries as symbols of social justice.
“Social justice includes ‘support for human rights, and a fair allocation of community resources.’ There are numerous ways in which libraries support human rights, beginning with the human right to access information. Libraries are also a community resource, an intellectual infrastructure that is made available to all members of the community.”
Torque Moment, Torque Momentum
This lightweight, uplifting, and elegant site-responsive sculpture, located in the lobby of Cummins’ Global Distribution Headquarters, is designed to evoke the wonder of complex systems—from the micro level of the engines that Cummins produces, to the macro level of Cummins’ global distribution network. The work speaks to the core concepts of precision and the dynamic interconnectedness of parts to a whole.
In considering the language of the constructed engine, the design of the artwork has its genesis in the idea of the rotating circle. The template for the design was developed by beginning with circles and cylinder shapes, and then generating three-dimensional forms in the studio through a process not unlike machine lathing. The aim was to create unique sculptural parts that individually and in configuration suggest both the delicacy of mechanical engineering line drawings and the complex workings of the machine.
Kendall Buster was born in Selma, Alabama. Before pursuing an education in art, she studied microbiology and earned a degree in Medical Technology. She went on to earn a B.F.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, a M.F.A. in Sculpture from Yale University, and to participate in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Studio Program. She has become well known as an artist who can effectively combine her knowledge and love of art and science to create stunning site-specific installations. Buster has exhibited around the world and her permanent installations can be found in places such as the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco; the convention center in Washington D.C.; the San Francisco International Airport; Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities; and more. Currently, Buster lives in Richmond, Virginia, and teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University. Learn more about the artist at http://www.kendallbuster.com/
Cummins designs, manufactures, distributes, and services diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies. Their Global Distribution Headquarters, designed by Deborah Berke Partners of Chicago, opened in 2016 after more than three years in the making. The Indianapolis facility and its commissioned artwork extend the Fortune 200 company’s long history of blending unique architectural style with the needs of employees, customers and visitors, and incorporating design excellence into the communities in which it operates.
Totem to Aging
Totem to Aging sits in the main hall of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. This steel, bronze, and iron sculpture by Bernie Carreño represents the culmination of the change that occurs as we move from our youth through the middle years and into the “golden years.” Although the golden years have much to offer, they are also a time of physical deterioration and pain. The cast iron and bronze parts represent bones while the steel portions represent joints and radiated pain.
Quoted from: www.uindy.edu/arts/sculpture-walk
“Visual Melody,” the very first piece of public art installed at Zionsville Town Hall, was designed, created and installed by Indiana artist Susan Tennant. It can be viewed by all Town Hall guests in the building’s front entrance lobby.
When the new Zionsville Town Hall opened in fall of 2017, one of Zionsville’s Mayor Haak’s goals was to add artwork to the various walls. A Town Hall Art Task Force made up of Zionsville artists and business owners selected Tennant’s proposal for the Town Hall lobby after a month-long process in which Indiana artists were invited to submit proposals for their vision for the space. The Town Hall Art Task Force worked closely with the Arts Council of Indianapolis to create an open call for public art in Town Hall.
Tennant’s goal was to create a sculpture that harmoniously weaves its way through and into the wall space and at the same time to represent Zionsville Town services and patrons who use the adjacent Big-4 Rail Trail. In “Visual Melody,” Tennant weaves together fiberglass rods and geometric wooden shapes enhanced by bold colors to create layers of dimensionality and emphasize the concept volume without mass.
“The intersections of horizontal lines with the vertical constructions reference a continuum of a playful dance. Each line, or fiberglass rod, is orchestrated to another so there is no apparent starting or ending point,” Tennant said.
When the Art Task Force saw Tennant’s proposal, they were impressed by both her use of color and the method in which she used the entire wall and not just parts of it.
“My intention was to create an artwork that would uniquely represent the energetic system and association of the Zionsville Town services and nearby Big-4 Rail Trail,” Tennant said. “Something that visitors and employees would find interesting, playful and entice conversation.”
Tennant’s sculpture can be viewed in the Town Hall lobby. For more information about Tennant, visit https://susantennant.com
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