Client: Reby Cary Youth Library
Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $377,000
The inspiration for Only Connect came from Matisse’s famous painting La Danse. Only Connect is a net of neurons dancing overhead, with integrated LED lighting driven by an optical sensor housed in a kiosk. There are additional hidden sensors placed throughout the library that trigger special sequences in the LED lighting. The network of neurons extends outside the building to the retaining wall, showing that the mental and social connections made inside the library extend beyond its walls. When not being directly interacted with, the
control computer plays back a light show emphasizing the neuronal structure of the artwork. There are two direct methods of interaction, using either the kiosk or any of 9 hidden buttons arranged throughout the collection space. Each of the 9 hidden buttons contains a battery-less wireless transmitter uniquely paired with 9 receivers located inside the kiosk. When any of the buttons are pressed, the corresponding receiver closes a contact that is sensed by a PLC, the control computer regularly reads in the status of the PLC inputs and will play a specific show for each button that is pressed.
"Only Connect" represents the ways neurons connect as a mind learns, the connections
made between community members, the trails of shooting stars overhead, and the memories of visiting libraries as you grow.
The neurons are created from thousands of colored glass spheres which provide a joyous yet sophisticated counterpoint to the white interior and which shine brilliantly with color when light shines through them. Driving the network of LEDs is a sensor housed in the kiosk that responds to people waving their hands, illustrations from children’s books, and the color of clothing worn by visitors.