National Superconducting Lab

Submitted by Linda Leviton

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Client: Michigan State University

Location: East lansing, MI, United States

Completion date: Jan 01, 2012

Artwork budget: $82,000

Project Team

Artist

Linda Leviton

Linda Leviton Sculpture

Interior Designer

Carly Vissor

URS

Architect

URS

Overview

The project is mounted outside the auditorium in the new addition of the National Superconducting Laboratory . This space welcomes students and international visiting scientists for conferences and presentations on papers being studied in the field. The space was a clean slate except for the wall color and trim.

Goals

The artwork needed to go beyond the highly scientific images the scientists capture on their computers and imaging programs. It needed to be conceptual, colorful, and thought provoking. This was the feedback I received from the committees. I designed "Tilted Windows" to be "windows within windows," to see into the unseen. The artwork can be viewed as a landscape or a “microscape”. The piece was slanted to break the strong vertical horizontal aspect of the architecture and viewer. The panels look as if they are overlapping to give some spatial interest to the work. Copper was used as a main material since that is a main material used in the cyclotron.

Process

I was in close communication with the Jeff Kacos, the Planning Committee representative. I acted as the art consultant as well as the artist... meaning I was in communication with all the various groups, making the multiple presentations as well as all the coordination of installation. We discussed designs as they were developed before presenting to the committees. I was in close communication during the design phase with the director of the Superconducting laboratory, Paul Mantica, who was the lead on the building addition from the University.

Additional Information

I learned a tremendous amount about the workings of the Laboratory. Onsite they were building the equipment for the cyclotron which I was able to observe. Meeting several times with the leads physicists in the school, I gained an appreciation for how they look at art about what they do. They look at visual models all day long for their data, which to a layman is very visually stimulating, but to them, pedestrian. Coming up with a design that stimulated their visual senses was a challenge as well as getting 14 physicists to agree.