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Diane Willow,
beneath a glowing ceiling veil of living light
  • Project mock-up. Image courtesy of the artist.

beneath a glowing ceiling veil of living light transforms an arch of the Stone Arch Bridge into a chamber that invites people to experience the bio luminescence that illuminates the night within this space. Glowing plankton inhabit a membrane of soft vessels filled with seawater. Together they form a liquid veil suspended within the arch. The plankton are in tune with the night phase of their cycle, ready to luminescence in response to small and grand movements of the water in which they dwell. Conceived as an ambient site that is responsive to the presence of people who visit, the water in the soft vessels is animated by delicate vibrations as people enter and experience the chamber. There is a sense that the glowing light is responsive to people’s movement within the space and at the same time this relationship is subtle, suggesting the emergence of a collaborative atmosphere that shifts with the flow of people.

Diane Willow

Diane Willow is a multi‐modal artist and creative catalyst. Working at the nexus of art and technology, science and architecture, she experiments with hybrid media to explore the poetic dynamics of nature, technology and community. Her public installations, interactive environments and evocative objects have been exhibited: in Canada at the Subtle Technologies Festival, Pixel Gallery, and the University of Waterloo ‐ in China at the Beijing Film Academy, Joy Art, and La Celeste ‐ in Japan at the Okawa Center ‐ on the east coast of the United States at the MIT Museum and the Danforth Museum ‐ in the midde lands at the Weisman Art Museum ‐ and on the west coast at the Exploratorium. Diane’s curatorial work includes being the catalyst for the University of Minnesota and Walker Art Center symposium Wonder Women: Art & Technology 1968 – 2008 and the companion exhibition, “culturing nature :: culturing technology”. She was co‐ convener and concept developer for the MIT Media Lab and Haystack Mountain School collaboration, Digital Dialogues: Technology and the Hand and she led the site‐specific Responsive Environment charrette at the Digital Fabrication themed ACADIA conference in Canada. One of her most memorable adventures was co‐curating the Arts Afloat exhibition of floating sculpture and installing it in Boston Harbor’s Fort Point Channel with boat, barge, and crane. Diane is the recipient of an invitational Osher Fellowship at the Exploratorium, a residential fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Minnesota, an institute‐wide appointment as Artist in Residence at MIT and Artist and Research Associate at MIT’s Media Lab. She has been invited to speak about her work in diverse contexts including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Society for Cultural Anthropology, the College Art Association, and the Tangible Embodied Interaction conference. A graduate of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Diane is currently Associate Professor of Experimental and Media Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Presentation of beneath a glowing ceiling veil of living light at Northern Spark is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.