Using and controlling light can change the perception of a place; users perceive and feel the space differently depending on factors such as the type of light switch, color variations, and combinations. When used in temporary installations, light can break the boundaries between art and architecture, and also between tangible and intangible, transforming the elements of the project and creating new shapes and patterns.
Temporary Installations: The Latest Architecture and News
It was an early morning in Chelsea, and men in suits were standing around the street, ushering in guests into a dark, 12,000 square-foot exhibition space at the XI gallery. Inside, the room was lit by a centerpiece installation of the New York City skyline, sprawling upwards towards the ceiling with its reflection. Bjarke Ingels was going to unveil new plans for The XI (‘The Eleventh’), a pair of twisting towers set between 17th and 18th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenue. Es Devlin, a British artist who has stage-designed for Beyoncé and Katy Perry, was tapped by HFZ Capital Group to create three installations to present the project.
In the gallery, Bjarke Ingels's work is seen through a sculptural map of Manhattan constructed within a 30-foot wide concave hemisphere (Egg); a pair of illuminated towers gently rotating upon shimmering water (Dance); and a 360-degree film strip of Ingels and his sketches scrolling across a horseshoe-shaped room (Paper, Stone, Glass, Water).
“Evolution in constant motion,” Es Devlin told reporters as she gestured towards the curves of the dancing towers.
Bjarke laughed. “I’ll bring it down to pragmatism.”
Every year in August, a temporary metropolis is erected in Black Rock City, Nevada. This is Burning Man, an annual event of art and architecture that attracts some 70,000 participants. The people who come to Burning Man come from all walks of life. What is incredible is that they come together to construct an ephemeral city that lasts for 7 days. These people assume the role of architects and construction workers and use the desert to build all sorts of shelters in a fast, sustainable way. The desert is so remote, and everything built in Black Rock City is packed and taken home at the end of the event, and some of the art is burned on site. This poses a unique architectural challenge. The people who have come to build these structures have to plan them way in advance to accommodate all the challenges of working in the desert, but the result is worth it - a striking, unique city, democratically built, set against a desert landscape, and for only one week.
We had the chance to interview Kim Cook at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. Kim Cook is Director of Art and Civic Engagement at Burning Man. Kim Cook and her team are tasked with increasing the impact of Burning Man’s arts and civic initiatives. As part of her role, Kim engages with artists and community leaders to increase opportunities for funding, collaboration and learning.