SpiroGyrate

Submitted by Eric Staller

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Client: San Francisco Arts Commission

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $350,000

Project Team

Architect

Geoff Gibson

Winder Gibson Architects

Public Art Agent

Susan Pontious

San Francisco Arts Commission

Artist

Eric Staller

Overview

Twelve 56″ (142 cm) spirals mesh and seemingly propel one another like so many gears, in an installation that begins on the floor and moves up the wall. Each of these spirals is laser-cut acrylic and each of them is motorized to move clockwise and counter-clockwise in a slow and hypnotic fashion. The piece is interactive, beginning with the viewer's ability to walk and stand on the spirals, which are under heavy glass plates. Motion sensors respond to people walking over the glass circles and activate color changes in the back-lit spirals.

Goals

I was commissioned to create a children's play area. One criteria was its interactivity and another was that the piece be engaging even when no one was interacting with it. Not only do children become inspired to touch and walk on it, but it has also become a hypnotic and restful respite from the stressful airport environment.

Process

Collaboration between the Arts Commission, the airport authority, the building architects, my consulting architect and fabricator was intense throughout the process. Particularly due to the fast tracking of the building's completion many trades had to be coordinated. A false floor had to be created to house the inner workings of the piece. We worked in concert with carpentry, electrical and terrazzo contractors to achieve the seamless integration of the art and architecture.