Client: Neon Museum
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $25,000
Freefall is a delicate kinetic neon sculpture that appears at first glance to be a totally unsupported cluster of light tubes suspended in space. This piece reduces its structure to a minimum and has the neon elements suspended from a maze of nylon fishing line, creating a sphere of light and motion.
The goal is to create a pure form that becomes a gently tumbling pirouette of light and color. The artist worked with the electronic engineerJohn Biondo to create an endless sequence of programmable dimming movements that give the work its apparent dancing motion. Nothing in fact moves, the motion is purely as a result of human persistence of vision and is a real illusion.
John Biondo is the prototypical mad inventor, a visionary engineer who works extremely well with artists. He and Philip Vaughan have worked together on a number of projects using the ever more sophisticated art of electronics allied with structure and form to create new forms of kinetics, motion and light.
This work was originally created as part of an art program for downtown Long Beach. "Freefall" found its home at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale under the direction of Kim Koga. That old museum facility has now been demolished to make room for the new building currently in the final stages of construction.