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The "Shapes of Space" exhibition at the Guggenheim

The LED or Light Emitting Diode is quietly making inroads in our day-to-day life. As we found its first use in indicators lights, gadgets and decorations, we can now find LED technology in camera flash units, LCD backlighting, mini DLP projectors, vehicle and street lighting. The minuscule size, energy efficiency and high durability will transform the lighting industry, and soon Edison's invention can be put to rest after more than 125 years of service. At the "Shapes in Space" at the Guggenheim you'll find such LEDs applied in Piotr Uklanski's Dance Floor...
The dance floor at the Guggenheim Museum in actionThe "Shapes of Space"

Every cultural period has its own conception of space, but it takes time for people consciously to realize it. - László Moholy-Nagy

Space is one of the basic elements in art, and yet also one of the most resistant to definition. Almost all artworks take up, contain, describe, or create space—but as an abstract concept informed by larger systems of comprehending the world around us, whether mathematical, physical, metaphysical, spiritual, or political, our understanding of space has taken innumerable forms throughout history and in different cultural contexts.

Since the early twentieth century, however, artistic conceptions and representations of space have multiplied across a wide range of media. Following the early avant-gardes' revolutionary break with the Renaissance tradition of linear perspective, artists felt a new freedom to investigate not just pictorial representations of space, but the physical space in which our bodies move, as well as the social realities it engenders—a freedom that persists in art being produced today.

The "Dance Floor"

For "The Shapes of Space", the latest exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC on view from April 14 to September 5, Piotr Uklanski created a remake of his Untitled (Dance Floor), 1996 – an installation that depends upon the viewer's active participation for its completion.

Using LED lighting and control technology to replace his original design using conventional incandescent light bulbs and on-off switches, the wall-to-wall installation transforms the entire institutional space of the gallery into a zone of dancing, mingling and social interaction for its visitors.

The glass floor of over 60m² was transformed into a mesmerizing light display by Traxon's Board 16 SMD RGB (1PXL/DMX) in cooperation with the Dutch industrial design bureau Studio Maramoja, who created the aluminum framework with silicon cushions, on which the glass tiles are mounted. The tiles are clear shield coated to ensure an “easy to clean” surface of the busy dance floor.

The minimalist design of the installation is subverted by the colorful display of the boards, which are controlled by a Sound-to-Light configuration using Traxon Light Management and turn the gallery into a light-flashing disco floor to step onto and experience.

Technical backgrounder at the Traxon website

Additional information: The dance floor at the Guggenheim Museum in action
June 9, 2007
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