Ingenuity Defines Villareal’s Public Art

February 25, 2014  |   Feature,   World
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Ithaca, New York: An homage to the late Cornell astronomy professor Carl Sagan, Cosmos is a site-specific installation by New York–based artist Leo Villareal (born 1967), a pioneer in the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and computer-driven imagery. His signature pieces explore complex movement and dazzling patterns created by points of light using his own computer software.

“Cosmos” is located at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University, Ithaca) installed above the museum’s Mallin Sculpture Court. “Cosmos” is on display day and night.

The ceiling of the Mallin Sculpture Court was chosen for its high visibility not only on campus but also from the city of Ithaca. Installation took several weeks, with twelve thousand energy-efficient LEDs on a gridded framework attached to the ceiling of the sculpture court. A zero gravity bench was designed by the artist for viewers to fully immerse themselves in the viewing experience and to foster a more communal involvement with his installation.