Gravity and Grace
Photos by Luke Walter
1800 N. Lynn St., Arlington, VA 22209
Artist: Cliff Garten
Materials: LED node panels
Gravity and Grace is a site-specific large-scale LED public artwork integrated into the architecture of Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn. The work is 150-feet long by 15-feet high and occupies the top two bays of the parking structure above the plaza. Inspired by color field painting and open tuning on blues guitar, the ever-changing artwork incorporates real-time environmental data that organizes its spectral shifts of color.
The title Gravity and Grace relates to the artwork’s programming software, use of environmental data, and the effect of intense color on the viewer. The software generates a fixed number of particles described as having the quality of gravity within the particle system. Shifting environmental data also possesses a gravity in its inference to our tenuous existence, as our actions cause the earth to change. Real-time environmental data tied to the artwork vary daily and show significant fluctuations over long periods of time. This shifting data introduces chance into the structure of the artwork pulling data from factors such as local variations in Arlington’s temperature, river level, traffic patterns or air quality. As a result, when these two gravities come together to form successful compositions of color they create a state of emotional grace. Within the artwork color is organized at two levels. At the larger structural level, the overall grids, blocks of color, and animations that comprise the wall change in a mathematical sequence. The second more fine-grained shifts of color happen within these larger blocks and their transitions create a depth and resonance.
The installation is the first phase of Cliff Garten’s Corridor of Light, which when complete will result in artwork marking three major entryways into Arlington, VA.
Learn more about Cliff Garten.
Watch Cliff Garten’s July 10, 2018 Artist Talk for Gravity and Grace.
Funded by JBG SMITH and Arlington County.