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Credit: Dan Goods
Soundtrack: Will Thomas
TEXT FROM THE SITE
The airFIELD is a dynamic Liquid Crystal sculpture synced to real-time flightdata that reflects the heartbeat of the world's busiest hub, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Each flight that lands or takes off from this airport activates the visual behavior of the sculpture. Planes traveling a short distance will create small ripples in the sculpture while planes traveling a longer distance cause greater activity. The airFIELD was conceived of and designed by Jamie Barlow, Dan Goods, and Nik Hafermaas and produced by UEBERSEE, an artists production platform specializing in the convergence of digital media with spatial experiences.
The airFIELD receives real-time information about flights coming and going from the Atlanta airport. Flight data is sent from the master computer, through the circuit boards, and they in turn send data and an electrical charge to tell each disc in the sculpture how to behave. The custom software powering airFIELD (seen above) was written in C++ and built upon the innovative art programming library called Cinder. The realtime flight data feed is provided by FlightAware.
Each of airFIELD's 10-inch (25.4cm) circles is made of a liquid crystal switchable film laminated between two layers of polycarbonate to create large acrylic pixels. The sclpture requires electrical and data connectivity all the way down the piece so that each disc is able to fade from 0%-100% opacity. This changing translucency from totally clear to opaque white is the essence of the airFIELD's monochromatic physical animation. The simple synchronized fade in and out with a gradient opacity change is sequenced to produce on and off sweeps of movement chasing from back to front.
The sculpture is mounted to a hidden structure above a drop ceiling via threaded rods that connect to 15' (4.572m) sections of aluminum "V" channel, serving as a structure and wire management for the 3,000 wires attached to the 1,500 circular tiles, connected to 81 circuit boards all linked back to a single computer server below.
Jamie Barlow specializes in bringing the unexpected to life. As a designer he creates digital and physical experiences for leading brands such as Google, GE and 3M; as an artist, he merges data visualization and media with experimental and innovative materials, and as a creative problem solver and project manager he has fostered large scale projects from concept to execution.
Dan Goods created his position as Visual Strategist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he develops unique ways of communicating to the public and amongst scientists and engineers. When not working at his day job he enjoys collaborating on art pieces around the world that bring beauty and meaning into peoples lives. He lives in South Pasadena.
Professor Nikolaus Hafermaas is an artist, designer, and Dean at Art Center College of Design, one of the world's leading design schools. His Los Angeles based company UEBERSEE conceives and produces media-driven art installations, design exhibits and exhibitions on an international scale.
The airFIELD sculpture is produced by UEBERSEE Inc.
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