2010 – 90’x50’140′ high. 14,064 bicycle reflectors, pulleys, aluminum, steel, and one electric motor.
The first time I walked into the Atrium II of the Hilton Anatole my heart leapt. It was May of 2009, and I had been invited to a kinetic sculpture competition as part of the atrium’s major renovation. I found myself in a stunning and monumental space, flanked with balconies rising up ten stories, and capped by a truss of steel and then glass. In the daytime natural light floods in, and at night the panes of glass above become a night sky of stars as they reflect the interior lights. Above all I wanted to do justice to the magic of the space, and to play with the elements already found there – the light, the magnificent scale, the steel truss work, and the sparkles high above.
The Nebula, suspended from the ceiling above, has thousands of custom amber crystals organized in a multi-tiered, geometric pattern. The crystals are made from 14,064 bicycle reflectors and custom anodized aluminum cones and rods. The movement of the Nebula is the result of one mechanism fanning out to 10 miles of aircraft cable and 1780 pulleys, and supported by an engineered steel truss, ring and one electric motor.
In February of 2011, I walked back into Atrium II. It was five months since the installation, and enough time had passed that I could see things with a fresh eye. It was seven in the evening. My immediate impression was one of overwhelming joy. The Atrium was alive with people enjoying the new landscape. Twin reflecting ponds were vibrant with ripples and overhead the Nebula was running strong and lit a deep red. I ordered a Margarita from the Media Bar and sat down to consider the journey and all the amazing people I had met along the way.