Virtual Depictions: San Francisco

Submitted by SNA Displays

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Client: Kilroy Realty; Salesforce

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Custom LED display manufacturing

SNA Displays

SNA Displays

Artist

Refik Anadol

Refik Anadol Studio

Architect

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Architects

Overview

Kilroy Realty and the City of San Francisco commissioned acclaimed media artist Refik Anadol to create an immersive public art installation on the new LED canvas in the 350 Mission Street lobby for the property’s unveiling event. Anadol’s work was titled “Virtual Depictions: San Francisco.” The show included a series of parametric data sculptures telling the story of the city and the people around San Francisco within a unique artistic approach. Additional digital art has been added to the screen’s content since the unveiling.

The high-resolution LED screen wraps around a 90-degree lobby wall corner and features a 6 mm pixel pitch. At 37’9” high by 68’6” wide, the installation consists of 2,589 square feet of digital canvas and 6.7million pixels.

SNA Displays designed and manufactured the interior LED screen, including a custom corner module that provides a tight seam at the turn.

Goals

From Anadol’s website:

“The main idea of ‘Virtual Depictions: San Francisco’ is to bring [a] 21st century approach to public art to define new poetics of space through media arts and architecture and to create a unique parametric data sculptures that has an intelligence, memory, and culture. Through architectural transformations of [the] media wall located in 350 Mission’ lobby, [the] main motivation with this seminal media architecture approach is to frame this experience with a meticulously abstract and cinematic site-specific data-driven narration. As a result, this media wall turns into a spectacular public event making direct and phantasmagorical connections to its surroundings through simultaneous juxtapositions.

When creating this public artwork my goal was to make the invisible visible by embedding media arts into architecture to create a new way to experience a living urban space. The project also intends to contribute to contemporary discourse of public art by proposing a hybrid blend of media arts and architecture in [the] 21st century.”

Process

“For the project, I needed to create a custom software and hardware setup in order to achieve some complex real-time graphics,” said Anadol. “And the system was designed completely open-ended for possible creative inputs. It was extremely easy and user-friendly.”

Additional Information

The LED display system is capable of displaying 4K content natively, but the screen can also be segmented for a variety of looks and purposes. It can play a combination of animations, video, imagery, and live data simultaneously. The system also includes an audio component. SNA Displays designed and installed speakers throughout the lobby floor that work in concert with the video content. Analog Way and Visual Image Display were instrumental throughout the project, including system visualization, engineering, and hands-on support during installation.