Designed and directed by Iceland based architect Marcos Zotes and his studio UNSTABLE, their Pixel Cloud installation is the winning competition entry for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2013, organized by Höfuðborgarstofa, Orkusalan and the Iceland Design Center. The installation creates an opportunity for Icelanders to reconsider the use and management of their urban public spaces. With the current financial situation leaving a permanent landscape of obsolete scaffolding structures scattered across the city, this has resulted in urban scars that remind us of the fragility of their current society. This installation takes advantage of this condition by transforming an ordinary scaffolding structure into a fully immersive environment of light and sound in the heart of Reykjavík. More images and architects' description after the break.
Located in front of the Icelandic House of Parliament in Reykjavik, Austuvöllur Square became the scenario for the multitudinary protests of 2008 that lead to an unprecedented change of government. Pixel Cloud temporarily transformed this space into a site of reconciliation. During the opening night, thousands of citizens gathered as a community to share a common experience in an event that has been pointed by local residents as the largest public gathering in Austuvöllur since the events of 2008.
The installation consists of a large scaffolding structure that has been assembled in a way to conceptually resemble a pixelated cloud. The scaffold, once liberated from its functions as an element in the construction industry, is treated as an object of art in itself. The entire structure is covered with a porous membrane composed of multiple layers of white net fabric. This membrane captures the light that is projected onto its surfaces while letting it pass through its porous openings and reach its multiple layers.
A series of live generative visuals were video mapped to match in detail the spatial qualities of the structure, which were projected at 24,000 lumens from two different light sources. As the projected light passes from one layer of fabric onto the next, the light emission not only fills the entire space but it also reaches the bodies of citizens that venture into the environment of light and shadows created inside the structure.
During the four nights in which Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival took place, Marcos Zotes performed a series of live visual creations in conjunction with live performances by Icelandic musician Eðvarð Egilsson and his project Cosmos. The structure remained as an elevated public platform during the daytime, allowing local residents to enjoy their surrounding urban environment with a new perspective.
Architect: Marcos Zotes / UNSTABLE
Location: Austurvöllur Square. Reykjavik, Iceland
Design and Visual Production: Marcos Zotes
Music: Eðvarð Egilsson / Cosmos
Technical Direction: Marcos Zotes
Technical Production: Luxor
Project Management: Marcos Zotes, Gerður Sveinsdóttir
Structural Consultant: Tómas Tómasson (ÍSTAK)
Scaffolding Construction: ROST ehf
Fabric Installation: Marcos Zotes with Erika Barth (Veraldavinir), Edda Guðmundsdóttir
(Shadow Creatures) and LHÍ students: Anton Svanur Guðmundsson, Arnar Þór Sigurjónsson,
Bergdís Bjarnadóttir, Bergþóra Góa Kvaran, Erling Þorgrímsson, Hallgerður Kata Óðinsdóttir,
Hildur Guðmundsdóttir, Pétur Stefánsson, Sunna Dóra Sigurjónsdóttir
Photography: Arnaldur Halldórsson, Eric Wolf, Ingunn Mjöll, Marcos Zotes, Roman
Gerasymenko, Árni Sæberg
Videography: Brandenburg, Jóel Sigurðsson, Marcos Zotes
Special Thanks: Höfuðborgarstöfa, Iceland Design Centre, Luxor, Orkusalan
Event: Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2013
Completion Date: February 7th-10th, 2013