The ‘Emergence’ project, built in 2018, extends our interest into structural and spatial logics. It is installed in the main gallery of the new SLCC Westpointe Campus building in Utah.
The project spans over 20-feet long and 16-feet high, with a total weight of 350 lb. The structural concept for the installation is that of a hybrid system, which is only partly attached to the gallery wall, and partly suspended from the dropped-ceiling cavity of the gallery. The combination of these distinct structural systems allowed for a spatial continuity of the project by blending aspects of figure/ground, which then visually challenged the notion of gravity.
The art piece is fabricated out of 1,276 unique, waterjet-cut, and pre-painted white aluminum components, which are connected by over 14,000 white-aluminum rivets. Assembled like a large, three-dimensional puzzle, the design forms a soft, curvilinear, yet dynamic, volume wrapping in and around itself, while performing as a closed structural system that only works when the last piece is inserted. The digitally cut, and then analog rolled, 0.05-inch thin aluminum pieces form a continuously connecting network of scales with mutual dependence among the pieces. This multi-connectivity generates a large-scale, volumetric architectural space that has comprehensive structural stiffness, while also being exceptionally lightweight.
The project serves as a communication device playfully allowing the public to discover the variety of moire effects, interconnections and reflective surface effects within the distinct pattern and ephemeral qualities of light and shadows provided. The concept for the artwork is based on the notion of innovation (technology and material) and a reflection of the forward looking culture on the SLCC campus (complexity, connectivity, and dynamism). The abstract, yet controlled form of the sculpture allows for multiple readings and a curious ambiguity between surface, aperture and continuation.
Design: VA | DESIGN
Project Team: Volkan Alkanoglu, Matthew Au, Daniela Leon, Cody Miner, Jakob Falk, Ravyn Crabtree, Tom Ferrer
Structural Engineering: Laufs ED
Client: Salt Lake Community College
Location: New Engineering Building, Salt Lake City, UT
Photography: John McCarthy