Virtual Sky - CODAworx

Virtual Sky

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Client: Oklahoma City Convention Center

Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $1,300,000

Project Team

Artist

Susan Narduli

Narduli Studio

Product Design Engineering / Fabrication / Installation

5Ten Visuals

Custom Software Developer

Tommy Etkin

Project Management

OKC Arts

Overview

Suspended in two large atriums of the city’s new Convention Center, the beauty and changeability of the Oklahoma Sky is re- conceptualized through technology. Thin cylindrical anodized titanium forms create a 3 Dimensional environment that simulate the movement of the Oklahoma Sky. The palette of colors evokes the subtle shifts of color one experiences throughout the day and throughout the season. Programmable LED lights connected to a stream of information from Oklahoma City Open Data Portals trace the city’s climate data. These dynamic layers bring an immediacy to the work and the opportunity for public engagement and discovery that will grow and change over time. An augmented Reality app allows the viewer to discover and explore the piece and climate data in real time.

Goals

From the street, the artwork plays with the ever-changing reflections of the Convention Center curtain wall. Inside, its colors and reflective surfaces bring the sky into the atriums and animate the public spaces. Throughout the day the artwork comes alive, a reflection of the changing sky. Like the building’s glass atriums, the artwork’s transparency invites the public in. The elusive nature of the reflective titanium and dynamic light creates and ever-changing three dimensional color field as one’s perspective shifts. In the evenings, the animated movement of color is experienced from the interior of the atriums, from the downtown streetscape and park beyond. The region’s invisible layers of data become the means to activate the artwork through the powerful and yet ephemeral language of light.

Process

To enable this ephemeral experience, we had to develop a custom software that reads data, such as wind, temperature, and precipitation. We worked closely with our programming team to create a playback system that could read the data is analyzed and translated into patterns of light. Realtime data from data.okc.gov and archival data gleaned from decades of Oklahoma City weather patterns create real-time shifts in light and color that mirror and reflect upon the natural world.