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Sculptures that Respond to the Sun

I’ve been experimenting with dichroic films to lend vibrant color to some sculptures that I'm planning for a sun-drenched urban site.

This dichroic material has an ultra-thin film of metal that reflects one color and passes another - and those colors change depending upon the angle that the light moves through. As you move around dichroic material and look through it, you see changing colors, making it somewhat interactive. As the sun moves through the sky, this material casts moving colored shadows that change color throughout the day. That aspect of change and mild interactivity makes me think of nature, and so an abstraction from natural forms drove me to create these models in preparation for making them full-sized.

These sculptures are fixed in placed, yet as the sun moves through the sky every day, they transmit and reflect intense colors onto the landscape around them. They make nice places to take some shade and drench yourself in color.

The Sonoran desert where I live is filled with plants that have color gradients across their surface: purple-to-green is common but so is brilliant red gradating to a blue-green sage through oranges and pinks. The color palette from available dichroic film suits this palette and sensibility.

I’ve long wanted to design and build the way nature does - in an additive way, responding to simple rules that play out in complex structures. These models are a first step towards structures that can be built in stainless steel by additive processes.

Notice how each sculpture produces two separate intensely colored effects on nearby surfaces: the transmitted color and the reflected color. These are perfect for urban landscapes that need a colorful break from the sun.

#josephoconnellart #creativemachines #publicartic #dichroic #publicart #lightart #newdirections