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Gravity and Grace

“Gravity and Grace” is a site-specific large-scale LED public artwork integrated into the architecture of JBG SMITH’s Central Place Plaza in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia. The LED public artwork is 150-feet long by 15-feet high and occupies the top two bays of the parking structure above the plaza.

The project design team was led by Cliff Garten of Cliff Garten Studio in collaboration with Norm Schwab of Lightswitch, Pablo N. Molina of PNM Designs, Jesse Gilbert of Dark Matter Media, Jesse Garrison of NightLight Labs, and Barbara Brennan of 4Wall Entertainment. The real-time Notch content engine is hosted on the groundbreaking Disguise GX1 media server, a formidable and compact system specifically designed to efficiently render complex real-time content. The GX1 server is controlled by a bespoke software system, created by Molina and Gilbert, that generates unique content playback schedules and manages all the live data feeds that drive the installation.

The ever-changing artwork incorporates real-time environmental data that organizes its spectral shifts of color. This shifting data introduces chance into the structure of the artwork pulling data from factors like local variations in Arlington’s temperature, traffic patterns or water usage. As a result, the changes that define the color and structure of the work’s geometry will not be the same in six years to a decade from now.

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The ever-changing artwork incorporates real-time environmental data that organizes its spectral shifts of color. Both color field painting and blues guitar inspired the design of the artwork. This shifting data introduces chance into the structure of the artwork pulling data from factors like local variations in Arlington’s temperature, traffic patterns or water usage. As a result, the changes that define the color and structure of the work’s geometry will not be the same in six years to a decade from now.

Cliff Garten turned to Lightswitch and 4Wall to help conceive the LED system, which uses Philips, Color Kinetics LMX series 2 dots mounted behind semi-translucent glass. The LED's create both washes of color that combine with a soft, pixelated point when viewed from various angles.

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Pablo Molina, in collaboration with real time content specialists Jesse Gilbert and Jesse Garrison, leveraged the power and flexibility of Notch to realize Cliff’s artistic vision while providing endless variations and remaining true to his sophisticated color palette. The realtime Notch content engine is hosted on the disguise gx 1 server, a compact system specifically designed to efficiently render complex real time content. The gx 1 server is controlled by a bespoke software system, created by Molina and Gilbert, that generates unique daily content playback schedules and manages all the live data feeds that drive the installation.

The installation is the completion of the first phase of Cliff Garten’s Corridor of Light. When complete the Corridor of Light will result in artwork marking three major entryways into Arlington, along Rosslyn’s North Lynn Street corridor, including two illuminated bridges and their infrastructure.

Watch a video here:

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