This Air Fountain is on permanent display at Swiss Science Center Technorama in Winterthur, Switzerland, where the public is invited to stand on the base and dance with fabrics as they fly. The design is highly adaptable, and may be made at virtually any scale as a sculpture, an architectural installation, a round stage unto itself, or built into a larger stage or floor surface area. There are numerous materials that can fly in the air with this set up. These include fabrics, mylar confetti, paper, bird feathers or styrofoam peanuts. These materials may be used with or without performers. (Patents pending)
Video #2 shows Air Fountain with the amazing dancer Ozgecan Tapa.
A 6-meter Air Fountain is built into the stage and used with fabrics and glitter for the 2015 Paralympic Games in Doha.
Shimmery fabrics fly freely and continuously above a disc-shaped base with a black mirror top. With no visible means of propulsion, the magic is complete. Viewers are left to focus on the dance of the fabrics, their inky, distilled reflections in the black mirror top, the play of light and shadow that they generate across every other surface in the room, and perhaps to speculate about the source and patterns of their overall movements. This piece may be made at virtually any scale as a sculpture, an architectural installation, as a round, movable stage unto itself, or incorporated into a larger flat surface. (Patents pending)
Work from the Air series in the form of a paper tornado takes center stage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony.
Two sheets of fabric continuously fly in and out of a vortex of air created in the center of a room. In the first video link above, Pas de Deux plays at the Grand Palais in Paris. The second link is with dancer Ozgecan Tapa. And the third link as originally recorded in the artist's studio.
In Magic Carpet, a large sheet of shimmery red fabric flies un-tethered in the center of a room, twisting and turning, rising and falling, coiling and unfurling, as it gracefully moves in and out of the vortex at the center of the air system. Magic Carpet currently appears in Amaluna, the Cirque du Soleil big top touring show as the first image of the opening scene, and again in a different incarnation, as the final, closing image of the show.
Glitter fills the air, creating an atmospheric, optical bedazzlement at the moment of Sylvia's death, and her transition into Neverland, in the Broadway musical Finding Neverland, at the Lunt Fontanne Theater. This piece was named one of The Stage's Best Moments of 2015 by the New York Times Theater Section. (link)
Three Air Wave sculptures were created for Airbus in the garden of the Musee Rodin for the event "At the Sky's Edge," welcoming their guests to the Paris Air Show 2015.
A graceful sine wave of fabric is created above a parallel series of fans.
This video shows the creation of enormous waves of fabric and air that could be scaled up to fill an entire stadium floor and the air space above it. Variations on this concept can produce crashing tidal waves of fabric, tubes, giant moving bubbles, domes and what looks like constantly rising and falling mountain ranges, or sliding sand dunes in a fast forward version of geologic time. Used in a theatrical context, the fabric can be blown off stage over the audience's heads, left to float there, and then snapped, or very gracefully floated back onto the stage. The concepts described here are highly adaptable to different scales and spatial parameters.
In a new and re-imagined reveal technique, a car is revealed to be under a large fabric that is made to form waves and pop up into a clam shell backdrop behind the vehicle, before disappearing in what looks similar to a kabuki drop. The work is highly scalable for unveiling almost anything large or small, and is compatible with light projection.
Inspired by the ribbon dancers of rhythmic gymnastics, Flag Waving machines may be installed singly or in multiples, with syncopated choreography, moving in the same or opposite directions. May be installed multiple ways having up to a 360 degree, fully shperical range of motion.
Feather Fountain involves bird’s feathers that rise up off of the mirror base and fly in a central column of air. The feathers spin vertically around their quills, before falling back onto the base, where they are swept towards the center and up again by a sheet of air emanating from all points around the base perimeter. The piece is lit by a single source of light, recessed in the ceiling directly overhead. The feathers create dark, dancing shadows in the bright circle on the ceiling, which is a reflection of that light off of the flat mirror of the base. The convex mirror at the center of the base, and the feathers on it, cast the less bright reflection and shadows across the ceiling and walls, encompassing the entire room. The soft patter that the quills make as they hit the glass is similar to the sound of rain on a roof, adding another dimension to the overall experience.
In Snow, tens of thousands of Styrofoam peanuts are swept by fans into a great pile at the center of the room, and chaotically into the air above it- like a giant, room-sized snow-dome that one may enter. There is a strong interactive pull from this work, and people are naturally inclined to linger with it, to play, to walk through, to be buried, to tunnel through, or to just lay back, look up, and be snowed upon. Designed for the sole purpose of taking up space, used only once and discarded, styrofoam peanuts are non-biodgradeable. As light as a breeze, they are hard to contain, and as such, are ubiquitous in the environment. For me, the styrofoam peanut is the ironic symbol of our mindlessly wasteful culture, manifest in a material of the least integrity.
Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has illuminated the fasten seat belt sign. Expect some turbulence ahead...
In this beautiful video, an indoor tornado is created as an architectural element for Moooi BV, the Dutch design company, using their lamp/ventilator, the Mistral. The installation is highly adaptable to being incorporated into different architectural spaces.
Fog and fire are used to create tornadoes in the center of a room. The image to left is a fog tornado as it appears on stage in Robert Lepage's new play, Playing Cards 1: Spades.
Shitstorm consists of newspapers, plastic shopping bags, bubble wrap, candy wrappers, balloons and ordinary litter from the street that circle endlessly in a vortex of air. A direct commentary on the degraded state of the environment, Shitstorm was specifically inspired by my concern about the Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Gyre, a huge area in the North Pacific Ocean with exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastics and other debris that have been trapped in this giant vortex of ocean currents.
In this piece, rose petals, tulip petals, maple seedpods, various other types of leaves, feathers, and a few colored Styrofoam peanuts are suspended in a vertical column of air. Eventually they fall into either the large polished, stainless steel funnel at the center, or onto the black Plexiglass top, where a viewer may easily push them back in to take flight again. The sound that these lightweight materials make, clinking against the funnel, is akin to rain falling on a tin roof. This piece exposes the aerodynamic properties of this natural detritus, and suspends it in a way that can be continuously observed.
In Two Balloons One Fan, two balloons are suspended and trapped in a vortex of air generated by a single fan pointed straight upward. A dance of sorts, or contest between them is created as they continually vie for the most stable position in this vertical air column. As an example of Bernoulli's Principle of fluid dynamics in action, because the air in the center of the column is moving faster than the air toward the outside, it has lower pressure. Just as an airplane wing is sucked up into the sky because the air moves faster over the top surface, the balloons are perpetually sucked back into the middle of the air stream as they simultaneously try to escape.