Client: Lifethings / Soo-in Yang
Location: San Jose, CA, United States
Completion date: 2013
Public Art Agent
City of San Jose Public Art Program
Demiurge worked with architect and artist Soo-in Yang to fabrication and install Idea Tree. The central element of the sculpture is a 40’ diameter canopy, supported by three groups of columns which serves as a transitional and interactive space between the street and the convention center entrance. The canopy is composed of six interlocking steel rings with a stainless steel cable system which describes a hyper-toroidal surface. Attached to the cable are translucent polycarbonate leaves silkscreen printed in three colors with a voronoi graphic pattern.
Demiurge and Soo-in worked with a number of consultants and collaborators across three continents, countless time zones and many design changes to bring this piece to fruition within the schedule and budget allotted. Idea Tree provides a high profile gateway to the convention center by creating a link between art and technology. The sculpture accepts audio inputs - speech, song, ambient noise - and by interacting with and learning from participants using advanced AI and speech recognition software, these sounds are used to create a dynamic audio composition. Idea Tree is the embodiment of the idea that a convention center is a place where people gather to share ideas and concepts, forming the seeds for these ideas to grow and evolve.
The piece was commissioned by the City of San Jose Public Art Program as part of the renovations to the City of San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Demiurge and Soo-in worked with a number of consultants and collaborators across three continents, countless time zones and many design changes to bring this piece to fruition within the schedule and budget allotted.
The sculpture was installed over twenty days following a series of fabrication plans and processes that we had planned ahead of time. As in every installation, we were forced to quickly respond to changing site conditions and requirements, but as always, the sculpture was successfully installed and the artist and City satisfied with the piece.