Fulsome Prisms


Did you ever wonder what it might be like to live inside a disco ball? Well, it probably would look a lot like these photos. May 15 to October 21, 2001, at Ace Gallery in New York City, artist Hiro Yamagata presented his NGC6093 Solar System Installation. Yamagata created the effects in collaboration with LD Paul Dexter of Hollywood, CA-based Entertainment Lighting Services and a team of laser and lighting technicians and programmers.

Yamagata has been exploring ideas related to the sun and its effects on one's physical and emotional environment for over a decade. In this installation he explores the links between science, technology, and art by transforming the gallery into a spatially infinite site.

Refractive holographic silver Mylar panels cover all surfaces of the gallery--walls, floors, and ceilings. Over 6,000 mirror cubes of various sizes are suspended with microfilament lines from the ceiling at different heights. Variable-speed motors spin the cubes in different directions. Lasers and light hit these surfaces scattering myriad rainbow beams; because all the surfaces are reflective, you feel as if you are walking in mid-air.

At each end of the main hallway is a Syncrolite SX7K 7kW xenon spotlight and a laser system; the hallway is lined on both sides with High End Systems Studio Spots, Martin Professional MAC 2000s, 3kW strobes, and ETC Source Four PARs. Smaller themed galleries branch off from this hallway.

Gallery 2 creates a stop-motion illusion with four 3,000W strobes in a room of highly reflective white material used in road signs. I personally could not even stand in the doorway, as the synchronized pulses nearly burst my eyeballs, but the LD tells me a couple guys tried playing frisbee in there. Galleries 5 and 6 each contain two laser systems with various effects plus Clay Paky Astroscans, and High End Studio Spots and Cyberlights; Gallery 5 is programmed with more frenetic effects while Gallery 6 is more serene. In Gallery 7, eight 150W color-changing fiber-optic illuminators and 200' of 1/4" fiber-optic cable distribute light evenly within the interior and exterior of a 15'x15' reflective cube.

The 25,000-sq.-ft. (2,250 sq. m) exhibit is powered by two generators, each delivering 350kW of power at 480V. Effects are programmed as loops and stored for playback on an Alcorn McBride show control system. For more information and photos, visit www.hiroyamagata.com.