The Burrowing Owl: Making the Unseen Seen

 

The Burrowing Owl is sculpted in my signature forced perspective style, and is cast in bronze at 9′ to 20′ in height, depending on material and budget.

Google has a compelling ecology program with a vision for the next generation of livable landscapes; which includes the bird estuary in the Charleston Retention Basin.

This proposal concept supports Google’s vision with a work of art that celebrates, and makes seen, the native Burrowing Owl, which is classified by the state of California as a species of “special concern” for threat of extinction. The Burrowing Owl has a reserve at Shoreline in Mountain View.

Google has a compelling ecology program with a vision for the next generation of livable landscapes; which includes the bird estuary in the Charleston Retention Basin.

Our concept supports Google’s vision with a work of art that celebrates, and makes seen, the native Burrowing Owl, which is classified by the state of California as a species of “special concern” for threat of extinction. The Burrowing Owl has a reserve at Shoreline in Mountain View.

Reaching for the Sky

 

“Reaching for the Sky” is an uplifting unique sculpture focusing upon the inspiration and innovation of the tech industry always reaching for higher goals. The soaring arcs of the sculpture’s form generate an energy focused upon the limitless potential of imagination. “Reaching for the Sky” casts colorful shadows onto the plaza below, slowly changing with the sun’s movement through the sky. Each moment that passes changes the way in which one sees the sculpture and plaza. Emphasizing the evolving role of technology in the modern era. Moving into the evening hours, integrated LED lighting will reinvigorate the sculpture as the sun sets. Operating off of renewable energy in the form of integrated solar panels these lights will be programmed to operate with an accompanying mobile app, encouraging viewer interaction. “Reaching for the Sky” is a bold vivid form focused on new and innovative interactions between technology and creativity.

Quantum Meditation

 

“Quantum Meditation” is an interactive metaphor for our vastly expanding sense of embodiment as interconnected nodes in a collective cyberspace.

A monumental figure is sitting cross-legged on the ground with her tablet device, comprised of evenly spaced, parallel slabs of polished stainless steel oriented in the direction of her gaze. When viewed head-on, the sculpture virtually disappears. The effect is surprising and beautiful and entices people of all ages and backgrounds to interact playfully with the work. At night, the sculpture is illuminated from inside, as if hovering on a cushion of slowly color-changing light.

“Quantum Meditation” speaks to the contemporary shift from the classical paradigm of reductionist separation to the new paradigm of holistic connectedness, in line with what quantum physics, the scientific breakthrough that enabled this revolution, is telling us about the nature of reality: Namely, that it should be conceived of as informational rather than material.

Meander

 

We view technology and spirituality as opposite ends of the spectrum, but what if they’re connected? In Meander this interplay is explored through a marble totem blanketed in dynamic LED and complemented by a backlit bench that winds like flowing water with stone seats emerging as river rocks from the grass. Meanderers can sit and watch as the totem changes patterns in Google colors, at a speed inspired by the number of people sitting below.

A totem is a natural object believed to have spiritual significance and treated as an emblem. Some might say technology has taken the revered place of nature in modern society, but this piece shows how we can elevate and honor nature with hi-tech emblems. The Meander bench invites you to explore even while not in motion. It asks whether new awareness might come to light if more people were to stop and sit together.

Lamina

 

Lamina is an interactive sculpture that blends elements of traditional sculpture with new media art. The sculpture appears as a set of 96 elliptical rings, arranged as a set of horizontal layers to form a volume that twists and swoops. The negative space between the rings creates a moire pattern that ebbs and flows, creating different optical illusions from all angles of the sculpture and encouraging viewers to walk around the sculpture.

As viewers move about the piece, it detects their locations via LIDAR sensors embedded in the base of the sculpture. This data is used to drive outward-facing LEDs embedded on the outside of each ring — vertical lines of light appear around the perimeter of the sculpture, forming a counterpoint to the horizontal layers. The vertical lines trace the contours of the sculpture, following viewers as they move around it.

HELIX

 

Having a beautiful helical simplicity and unity when seen from a distance, upon closer viewing one’s interest is sustained by the detailed compositions and striking finishes. As a result, visitors see new things each time they look.

1. Stainless, painted or weathered steel • Welded fabrication • In-grade lighting
2. “Seek & Find” imagery “woven” into pattern make it fun to find things over time. Exquisite hand finishes on stainless steel reflect sunlight and electrical light in wonderful ways.
3. This piece will be a continuation of the Metal Lace artwork we have been developing for over 20 years. This work is dynamic, interactive, delightful and surprising, inspires curiosity, as well as being fun and approachable!

GO

 

“GO” is a no-tech tactile display system that allows visitors to compose large scale images and text by manually flipping double sided discs. Each pixel features a binary composition of white marble and naturally weather-proof charred lumber. Each marble face features an engraved question, encouraging visitors to further explore the contents of the pavilion and contemplate queries that are either cosmically profound, trivial, or just plain silly. It would also be possible to curate the content to encourage groups of people to make a game out of the experience.

We’re confident that “Go” will be a fun addition to the Google campus and believe the project eloquently fuses together a strong body of concepts, allusions, and contextual specificity, while simultaneously providing a physical platform for creative expression that resists static meaning, and instead is continuously reinterpreted and redefined. In short, “Go” is an art machine, powered by the public.

FLUTTER

 

Sitting in FLUTTER is an expression of mood. One can be alone in dappled shadow or talk with a friend. Wrapped inside and out with sinuous, playful benches, FLUTTER is a kind of plaza within a plaza, seating over 28 people in the troughs and crests of its fluttering footprint.

FLUTTER is made from salvaged copper tubes. The tubes are carved with a unique pattern of slots that, when assembled, become a rigid yet flowing fabric. In each of the tubes at its crest, there is an anemometer and electronics that controls a string of LEDs within the tubes below. At night, when the anemometers spin in the wind, the LEDs change in color and intensity. The piece glows and flutters from within. The LEDs can also be controlled through Wi-Fi allowing the community to create and curate low-resolution video using FLUTTER as a screen.

Curious

 

A curious grizzly bear. The symbolic animal for a state that is home to a company that is curious, noble and likable. This is Curious and Google can be it’s home. Curious is larger than life and it’s pose draws you in, when you get closer you discover that it is made up of over 200,000 pennies.

Bayshore Bird

 

The planning that has been put into the City of Mountain View’s Charleston East public plaza is a dedicated civic response to the livelihood of its citizens and employees of Google. The design team’s effort to restore the native ecology of North Bayshore is commendable. ‘Bayshore Bird’ is to serve as the symbolic icon to your rejuvenation effort and bring awareness to the importance of sustainability and wildlife.

‘Bayshore Bird’ will invigorate the urban experience and attract visitors both near and far. It will bring awareness to the invisible weave of culture, engage the senses, and harmonize the coming together of the natural vs. the built. It is the intent of my work to foster stronger communities by connecting people socially, spiritually, and intellectually.

Gluten-Free (Pasta Playground)

 

The Pasta Playground was conceived towards the end of a three-week period of overzealous carbohydrate avoidance. The holistic view of the piece will show a flourish of sinuous curves before the viewer recognizes the elements as resembling noodles. The project is inspired by penmanship in illuminated manuscripts, by Maori woodcarvings, highway interchanges, Da Vinci’s drawings of water eddies, and Louis Sullivan’s architectural ornamentation. In the case of the ramen noodles, I’m interested in the transitions from the technological to the organic. Dense, mechanical switchbacks on one side suggest circuitry; as the ramen block unravels at the other end, it suggests brain morphology, then meandering vegetation. The calligraphic spaghetti flourish provides a fun structure to climb and explore. The “art” lies not in luxurious materials but in the rich patterning of hundreds of custom pipe bends and welded pipe elbows. Galvanized steel–a durable, urban material–becomes ornamental, noble and sculptural.

Architeuthis (“Archie”)

 

Architeuthis (“Archie”) will be constructed by Peter Hazel’s team in his studio in Reno, Nevada. The main structure is a single piece sculpted from cement and internally supported with rebar. Handmade ceramic tiles and embedded LED lights, similar in style to Octavius, cover the exterior. The lighting will be set to pulse up and down the arms to give the creature the appearance of silently moving through the cover of night.

An opportunity to explore the details of Architeuthis invites people to come closer and interact with the rarely seen giant squid. The body, arms and tentacles formed to look as if the creature is in motion. Its colorful exterior made from coin-sized smooth, durable ceramic tiles, making it safe and inviting to explore and climb by children of all ages.

Centaur

 

Centaur combines the body of a horse with the head and torso of a man. Standing more than 25′ tall, the man portion is able to swivel and will be aiming an arrow towards the sun. As day progresses, he tracks the sun and stores energy, fueling light and sound effects. Steps can be incorporated into the horse’s leg(s) so that people can climb the horse. The materials will be steel, stainless steel, redwood and recycled materials as much as possible. Internal LED lighting will bring to life the negative spaces and interior passages of the sculpture at night. There will be an interface that will allow Google to define color schemes for holidays, special events, etc. A dynamic light show will be driven the “Unintentional Garden” web network of sound devices so that light and sound will work together creating an immersive experience.

Caducean

 

This sculpture is inspired by Hermes’ ability to tether worlds together as suggested by the two, winged vortices folding into themselves presenting a self awareness with its participants physical or digital reflection.

Caducean is a thirty-three foot, stainless steel sculpture sits inside of a round seating platform. As people approach this winged pillar of light, proximity sensors trigger custom programs that control the LEDs spiraling within the form. This light grows warm in color as people approach and cools when they are passing, causing delayed ripples of light to be moving along the wingtips whenever people are present. The 13+ person seating area is also independently illuminated and intelligently connected to the rest of the form. The light from the underside of this seating illuminates peoples’ feet within twenty feet of the sculpture easing peoples approach.

Code Lantern

 

Our concept is a monumental mountain lion made from aluminum that is precision cut with lines of computer code. An internal lighting system illuminates the artwork creating a lantern effect. Programmable LEDs allow the lantern to change colors at night.

The design sits at the intersection of the technological and natural worlds, mirroring the qualities of the Mountain View campus. As people are drawn to the immense lion, they perceive lines of computer code that may reveal hidden messages.

Majestic, powerful, agile the Mountain Lion is an inspiring native of California. This creature personifies movement, grace and independence. They navigate enormous tracts of American wilderness and are known for being extremely adaptable, equally at home in forest, desert, jungle, or swamp. Their favorite times are dawn and dusk, the transitions in between the constants of day and night.

DREAMER

 

DREAMER is a fairyland tree come to life in the heart of the modern tech scene, blending elements of each world. The graceful lines of its 15ft trunk and 20ft branches in polished stainless steel are contrasted by 1000 cube leaves in ever-changing copper. DREAMER combines digital technology with analog machinery to make an interactive audiovisual experience. Hundreds of metal chimes within the cubes will make music in response to human touch, reminiscent of a classical music box or whimsical wind chimes. At night, colored lights in and around the tree will beckon participants and respond to their presence. The light and sound will have pre-programmed and live interactive modes. DREAMER will enchant Google campus employees and the community alike, creating a vibrant dynamic community space for social interactions.

Drishti

 

Drishti” (Sanskrit): ‘the focused gaze’, vision, inward sight.

Inspired by a philosophical phrase, “Drishti, Srishti”, meaning: “As is your vision, so is your universe” or, “How you behold, is thus what you unfold”. As a sculptural expression, it presents a locus, and reflective symbol, of focusing and elevating energies into positive directions, as creators and collaborators of our individual and collective realms/realities.

Drishti’s elegantly curved mirrored steel sides sweep our gaze upward along arcing angles, to a taper of 24’, pointing to the stars. At its center, a curving bench invites us to gather, repose, reflect. Repeating patterns of rounded steel mirrors shimmer like an array of little suns, drawing us to meet our gaze in the ‘eyes’ of the lens-like mirrors. Stepping back, our image merges with everyone else’ into a mosaic portrait of shared reflection, literally and symbolically.

Horti-bot Arcadia

 

The field of robotics and artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Horti-bot Arcadia consists of a family of autonomous beings whose sole purpose in life is the endless pursuit of perfecting one’s garden. Taking inspiration from Japanese Zen gardens, the artwork celebrates the beauty and aesthetics of the organic and the man-made.

Visitors will experience an ever-changing expression of global inter-connectivity and interaction as people around the world contribute to the garden’s appearance by influencing the movement and animation of the robots. The continual raking and pattern-making of the gardeners is mesmerizing and meditative and creates a place of rest and contemplation at Mountain View.

The installation provides a platform for people to engage with technology and a moment to contemplate an exciting future as robotics and artificial intelligence become increasingly present in our everyday lives.

Iris

 

Iris is meant to be both an iconic and recognizable figure on the campus and a space to rest, exchange, reflect, or simply pass through. It is a structure that filters sunlight in unexpected ways, but is also an open space or forum for ideas. Our proposal is inspired by classical structures and forms that evoke exchange, combined with contemporary materials and ways of making. There is an explicit difference between the exterior and interior to provide a sense of place. On one hand, natural in its form but also magical in the way it filters, reflects, and refracts light. 3M dichroic film has optical properties that would make the piece a pedestrian scale kaleidoscope. The exterior is clad in aluminum tubes to create a screen. We would also integrate an array of addressable LED fixtures into the structure that would act as an interactive way to activate the piece.

Lightlines

 

“Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions.” -Alexander Calder

“Data is nature.” -Paul Prudence

Our environments are pulsating with invisible datastreams. These forces – mostly hidden to the naked eye – are nonetheless a critical defining feature of our epoch. The proposed Lightlines artwork translates publicly accessible data into dynamic streams of colored light and sound. Real-time information is continuously rendered into a woven, networked composition of bits and atoms. Visible day and night, these datastreams animate the public pedestrian zone with variable intensities of illumination, creating a meditative, surprising and interactive experience.

Digitally crafted by artist and engineers working in close collaboration, the artwork fuses sophisticated design and fabrication techniques with advanced material science. The result is a one-of-a-kind artwork that is cutting-edge, interactive and fun to explore for a range of visitors.

PODOLOUS

 

Podulous resembles a colony of biological cells, each is cell an independent but interconnected part of a larger organism. The cell boundaries are constructed of bronze, contrasting with the reflective stainless steel cell centers. When visitors press the tactile metal switch at the center of each cell, the sculpture responds with dynamically cascading patterns of light that emanate from the edge of an acrylic disk behind the switch, creating waves across the surface radiating from each point of interaction. The patterns of light evolve and react to each new visitor’s input. During the day, the stainless steel cell faces glint and shimmer in the sunlight.

Rockspinners Three

 

Rockspinners Three is a trio of interactive and engaging Rockspinners – large, natural, multi-ton boulders that you can easily spin with a single push. Rockspinners are physically engaging and playful art pieces that compel viewers to interact and explore while creating a sense of place and an opportunity for fun.

Rockspinners Three would be arranged in a triangle with lightstrips between the boulders focussed on the stones at multiple angles. The motion of the Rockspinners and their velocities would be picked up and interpreted by the lights. This could be open-sourced, allowing visitors to play with the Rockspinners physically and technologically.

A set of Rockspinners in the Charleston East Plaza would activate the space and engage visitors. Deceptively simple, these works are designed to create a new experience, inspire young scientific minds, and engage people of all ages and backgrounds directly with art through interaction and play.

Portal

 

You may have heard that people spend too much time on screens. Portal questions this truism by transforming a screen into a 3 dimensional interactive room where each pixel connects participants to their physical environment and to one another. Each “pixel” (or voxel) in this hyperbolic parabola steel grid can pivot around it’s center, slowly rotating in the wind, revealing either the sky above or a shaded square. At human height, pixels can be rotated manually to create enclosure and porosity. The steel structure will be powder coated white to offset the multi colored pixels. Walking around the sculpture will yield playful optics, moire patterns and Albers-like color combinations. To create a more dynamic experience, Portal combines this kinetic physical installation with programmable overlays – Augmented Reality in the day and mesmerizing light patterns at night.

Spirole

 

Located at Google’s Charleston East Plaza, Spirole is a playful and community-building art installation. The elegant, 23-foot tall structure consists of three kinetic umbrellas which were inspired by the enigmatic forms and spiraling movements of marine feather duster worms. Following a circadian rhythm, the umbrellas open multiple times during the day, signaling specific times by exposing their bright, colorful membranes. At sunset, Spirole offers yet another spectacle by sensing the number of visitors nearby. The more people are gathering together, the more Spirole will bloom and with its interactive lights and powerful speakers turning it into a dynamic event space.

The Eye

 

“The Eye” is a sculpture which functions as a giant kaleidoscope immersing the viewer into patterns and colors formed from the Google campus. The intent is to creating new images based on the surrounding landscape.

The structure is comprised of multiple 1 inch fins that are interlocked vertically and horizontally to form a waffle shaped sphere. The top half of the sphere is filled in with individual units of handmade kaleidoscopes (1054 units in total) that reflect small computer controlled images captured from the Google campus itself. These images are projected to the bottom half of the sphere and creates the resulting effect of the kaleidoscope mandala where the viewer experiences the essence of the campus and the privacy of any individuals in the originally captured images are protected. The sphere shaped sculpture is constructed with Kebony wood and aluminum and stands 13’ tall.

Elements

 

Elements is an interactive landscape of dichroic, glass platforms that mirror the sky during the day while becoming a fully interactive light environment at dusk, and throughout the night.

By day Elements reflects the sky in a watery dichroic mirage. By night, each platform in Elements becomes a fully interactive, standalone device that can sense user movement, and communicate with its neighbors over a mesh network. Each shape in Elements is fully interactive. As users step, dance, run, crawl or roll across the sculpture’s surface, interactive light will follow and illuminate pathways and movement.

Derived from a Penrose diagram and part of a larger body of work called Euclid, Elements is a fully accessible work, designed to engage and delight the public in connected and engaged community play.

Aurora

 

Aurora is an intergalactic garden of hand-formed polished metal mirrors, hand blown glass floral and plant forms, and gently rotating planets of hand silvered mirror and crystal. This universe is contained within an old grain silo with continuous seating and relaxing habitat for several dozen people. Combining old-school elemental work like blacksmithing and glass blowing, mixed with recycling, and digital pyrotechnics, a disorienting field of beauty and wonder unfolds. The walls seem to dissolve and human visitors are connected, inspired and bonded in a potent and unique shared experience.