Faculty Bulletin Board

Design media arts professor’s domes to illuminate historic Philadelphia street

Jennifer Steinkamp’s “Winter Fountains” will line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway beginning Nov. 30

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Winter Fountains
Jeff Fusco

Domes like this will be placed to form a constellation along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

UCLA design media arts professor Jennifer Steinkamp’s magical domes with animations of nature, ethereal rocks and lightning will beginning tonight grace the streets of Philadelphia.

Her installation, “Winter Fountains,” will run Nov. 30 through March 18 along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The domes are part of Parkway 100, a celebration of the historic road’s centennial.

From sunset to midnight, any passerby can see Steinkamp’s colorful pieces. The installation features four domes that are each 13 feet tall and 26 feet wide that glow with Steinkamp’s animations. Each of the eight animations will be projected onto the domes in distinct colors. The images are representative of Benjamin Franklin’s research, as some animate the formation of electricity in clouds. The animations show dust particles colliding to create lightning or to spark static electricity; others illustrate water combusting into gas and steam.

Her piece has been described as an “otherworldly experience” by the Parkway Council, the group presenting the projects for the centennial celebration, as the shapes move up and down, change directions randomly and even come toward the viewers.

The domes, made of fiberglass and embedded with glitter, are installed at Aviator Park, Rodin Museum, Park Towne Place and the Spring Garden Triangle to make a “glowing constellation” along the historic stretch.

Many of Steinkamp’s other works have been featured as important public art pieces. Recently, her animation “Botanic” shone on the giant multi-block technological billboards of New York Time’s Square. The Hammer Museum at UCLA features, “Mike Kelley,” a tree projected in the courtyard. Visitors can still see her eight 20-foot columns, each featuring an LED floral pattern, in Hollywood. Her piece “Murmuration” in the Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach was selected for a national award by Americans for the Arts. Steinkamp has also been featured in exhibits at the Getty Center, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Skirball Cultural Center.

Steinkamp teaches 3D modeling and motion at UCLA and is an installation artist who works with video and new media in order to explore ideas about architectural space, motion and perception.

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