20 November 2007

One Day Poem Pavilion

One of the best things about working at Art Center is that every now and then you get to see a student work that's just wonderful. Suddenly a few weeks ago, an open dome-like structure appeared behind the building.

I figured it was a sculpture, but actually it was quite a bit more. It's the master's thesis project of Jiyeon Song, from our Media Design Program. The One Day Poem Pavilion combines science, art, poetry, and design to create an object that was one-of-a-kind and very appealing.

The holes in the shell - carefully designed using the computer, and drilled by a CNC machine - use sunlight to project the lines of a poem that slowly appear and disappear over the course of a day. You can see a time-lapse of the entire day here.

I think what appealed to me most about this work is the juxtaposition between ancient and modern technologies. The concept of telling a story through astronomy and geometry goes back at least as far as the Babylonians, the Mayan, and the creators of Stonehenge. But the work was designed and built using computer design and manufacturing techniques. It's a wonderful melding of digital and analog media.

The eternal quality of the work also made me think of the goals of the Long Now Foundation. You can imagine building this pavilion out of the right materials in the right place, and coming back many thousands of years later to find it working exactly the same.

Congratulations to Ms. Song on a really interesting, attractive, and thought-provoking work. (And thanks to her for letting me use her photos, to which she holds the copyright.)

1 comment:

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!