Last Friday, the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering hosted ‘The Geode’, an interactive sculpture made of different panels. The large, white geometric sculpture changed colors as students, faculty, and members of the community observed. Sounds ranging from low and calm to high pitched and erratic played in the background.
The digital sculpture is the work of artists Aaron Zernack, Esteban Garcia, and Max Carlson. The motion of those around the sculpture is captured though an infrared camera which controls the patterns and colors on “The Geode”. The sounds are generated through ‘modular audio synthesis’. The sculpture is an intriguing blend of technology and art that captivates its audience.
Zernack, Garcia, and Carlson came up with the idea about two years ago. “We had a pile of wood in the studio that needed to be thrown away,” said Carlson, “but instead we built a wood structure. Through some brain storming we decided to cover it with fabric, and practice video-mapping”.
The sculpture has taken on many forms. “It went from a wooden sculpture covered in fabric, to one made out of metal bars covered in fabric, and this one is made out of cardboard,” said Carlson. “It’s always changing”.
Video-mapping is a key component of the installation. “You have a projector that can project over an entire space in room,” explained Carlson. “What we’re doing is determining what surfaces the video projector is projecting on. We trace the shape of the three-dimensional object and it projects on that surface”.
‘The Geode’ is an alluring combination of angular lines, and fluid color. Its appearance at Armstrong Hall was its final showing. As for the sculpture’s meaning, Carlson says there are no political or religious connotations. “It’s just meant to be aesthetically pleasing”, he said, “whether it’s a child or adult”.