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The goal of the teen center signature piece
is to draw attention to the center and identify it as a location for teens.
To accomplish this, I have developed a combined form of a flying sphere and
the wildly oscillating trajectory which directs the sphere to the building.
This form flies toward the teen center building with all the energy and
vitality which is characteristic of our youth. A third spherical form
expands this metaphor. This element graphically portrays that which is
probably the whole purpose of the teen center…impact. Impact on young
persons lives, impact on the community, impact on the developing future.
This metaphor is illustrated by the exploding projectiles which emanate from
the point of contact between the flying ball and the building. At night this
metaphor becomes even more evident. Sequential illumination of three
different hues of intense neon will designate the center’s location with
animated brilliance. First, a zigzag, oscillating wiggle will burst to life
in blue neon. Then, in complimentary hue contrast, the ball will become a
glowing red sphere. Then the image will become complete as the green impact
projectiles flash on in brilliant yellow-white.
Robert asked me to build an animation sequencer for this
piece that would sequence the 3 light sources. While the trajectory
and the exploding debris are simply neon that flashes, the lighting for the
globe posed an interesting problem. What I suggested was that he mount
several 100 Watt light bulbs inside and then fill the holes with red acrylic
so the light would shine out through them. I engineered the controls
to keep the light bulbs barely glowing all the time so that they would light
quicker. This also eliminates the thermal shock that wears lamp out
more quickly. Another benefit is that with many lamps, if a few burn
out it would not be very noticeable - engineers call this a "graceful
Here is Impact under construction at Robert's studio.
And being installed on site.
contact Robert Ellison at:
or visit his web site:
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