Interactivity 2006

P H I L A D E L P H I A  I N T E R N A T I O N A L  A I R P O R T   T E R M I N A L  E   R O T U N D A, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2006

Commissioner: Exhibitions Program at Philadelphia International Airport and the City of Philadelphia’s Public Art Program

Artist team: Nobuho Nagasawa, Kazumi Tanimura


The airport rotunda is a meeting place for traveler coming and going between multiple destinations around the world: it is a place for people to interact, physically and communally, as well as virtually through technological media. Using three-dimensional, net-like forms, the sculpture for this rotunda represents interaction, communication and the gathering together of people. Tensioned wires, connected to architectural surfaces at various heights within the rotunda, indicate the various signals sent from one person to another. And the merging points of the wires are the incidents where connections are made successfully between multiple people. These merging points will be bound in reflective materials, by day becoming a sea of twinkling stars or mysterious jewel points, catching the sunlight and reflecting it throughout the space, dispersing the light, amplifying it and bringing it back to the experience of the traveler.

At night, tightly focused colored lights will pinpoint the merging points and scatter spectrums of light.  The reflected lights of both day and night represent the emotions, feeling and responses of people when physical and virtual interactions are made. Like a real communication between human beings, the various forms of light show the depth and character of human sensitivity. Additionally, the artificial lighting at night may react to the sounds and activity in the airport. The proportion of lit merging points and the resulting spray of reflected light will increase with traffic through the rotunda and might even react to the planes on the runway.  In this way the dynamic visual effects may reflect the sounds and use of the space and the essence of human interaction within the airport—people passing through, talking, taking time between flights; planes landing and taking off.

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