Chasing the Stars

Submitted by Joe O'Connell

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Client: City of Goodyear

Location: Goodyear, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $448,000

Project Team

Artist

Joe O'Connell

Creative Machines

Design and Fabrication

Creative Machines

Creative Machines

Overview

In the spirit of Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines’ playful culture and ambitious reach, we have designed and fabricated a monumental, kinetic sculpture that is powered by both wind and human interaction. The form of the sculpture sweeps through space, reaching upward to grasp and gather the universe into its arms. The Sculpture’s mandate is to invite curiosity and physical engagement; the audience is then rewarded with a magical, interactive experience of motion, light, and color.

While both iconic and engaging, “Chasing the Stars” is designed to be a landmark feature that upholds innovation and contributes to a dynamic public environment. “Chasing the Stars” is the culmination of refined geometries, physics, material, technology, and human interaction. It draws inspiration from simple yet powerful machines such as sailing vessels, catapults, and windmills.

Goals

On breezy days, the six arms of the sculpture revolve on a linked axis, transferring angular momentum between one another. Should the day be calm, viewers may initiate kinetic action by pulling on the tethers at the base of the sculpture; this will set the kinetic arms in motion. Like tolling a heavy bell, the audience may pull the tethers several times to create ever-more dynamic results. During the day, the sun casts colorful shadows underneath the sculpture as the translucent colored arms wave overhead. At night, LED lights shining up towards the sculpture at small mirrors underneath the arms will cast glimmering light and shadows on the surroundings.

Process

Made from painted steel, permanently sealed bearings, mirrors, and Koda XT, "Chasing the Stars" begins as a strongly vertical sculpture until it flares outward at its uppermost elements, branching out protectively over the audience and Plaza of Goodyear Recreational Campus. Appropriate safety considerations are included in the design to limit the force that can be transferred between the sculpture and audience.

Additional Information

"Chasing the Stars"