Water Weaving Light Cycle 2004-2005


Seattle, Washington, 2004-2005

Commissioner: City of Seattle, Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor Fleets and Facilities Department 1% for Art Funds Administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

Architect:  Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Consultants: Sound, lighting and software design: Andrew Schloss, Dale Stammen

woven optical fiber, stainless steel cable wire, illuminators, sound optical fiber dimension: 5.5 x 46’ / 165 x 1400cm


This light and sound sculpture, made of optical fiber emulates cascading water and the rhythms of waves break- ing on the shores of nearby Puget Sound.  The tool to weave the side-light fiber optic was and invented in the Nishijin district of Kyoto by the traditional kimono weavers.

The lights and sounds, controlled by computer, link to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. The sounds from ceiling speakers are specially made field recordings of waves and other environmen- tal sounds at Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park, Lincoln Park, and Carkeek Park. The pulsations of shifting hues of blue light, cascading up and down the length of the fiber tapestry, are synchro­nized through real-time acoustic analysis with the ebb and flow of waves. Sound/light  dynamics reflect both the actual weather changes outside and, figuratively, the flow of human communication inside City Hall-the people walking through, talking;  the activated network of information technology; any day’s living architecture in action.

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