Client: University Health System
Location: San Antonio, TX, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $200,000
Perkins + Will
You Activate This Space is an interactive light and sound installation by Ansen Seale. Constructed of glass panels, LED lights and steel supports. 12 feet high x 146.5 feet long. In this piece, forty-two backlit panels react in response to the movement of the staff through the space. As people pass each panel, the work responds by changing color and then slowly fading back to the original color, in effect, leaving a trail behind the person walking. An audio component completes the experience by providing a quiet harmony of chime tones.
The goal of this project was to provide the staff of the hospital with a calming experince on their war to and from work. The environment is built into an elevated bridge that extends from the parking grage to the hospital. The title of the piece is meant to be a clear and unambiguous message, both in an immediate sense (the bridge space), and also to the hospital work experience as a whole. The staff makes the hospital come alive.
This work was created as a collaboration between the board of the hospital, the architects, a team of electronic engineers, a team of glass experts, and an installation crew. In a sense, the collaboration continues because each person who enters the space activates it do come alive.
The Viewer becomes the Creator, riding a self-generated wave of calming energy--lifting them on their way to and from work. Collaboration is also celebrated. As people approach from opposite directions, they create a third color as their trails meet and intermingle.