Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Solar Equation’, 2010, bitforms gallery

aerostat: 48 ft / 14 m in diameter

"Solar Equation" is a large-scale public art installation that consists of a faithful simulation of the Sun, 100 million times smaller than the real thing. Commissioned by the Light in Winter Festival in Melbourne, the piece features the worldʼs largest spherical balloon, custom-manufactured for the project, which is tethered over Federation Square and animated using five projectors. The solar animation on the balloon is generated by live mathematical equations that simulate the turbulence, flares and sunspots that can be seen on the surface of the Sun. This produces a constantly changing display that never repeats itself, giving viewers a glimpse of the majestic phenomena that are observable at the solar surface and that only relatively recent advances in astronomy have discovered. The project uses the latest SOHO and SDO solar observatory imaging available from NASA, overlaid with live animations derived from Navier- Stokes, reaction diffusion, perlin, particle systems and fractal flame equations.
Using an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, people may disturb the animations in real-time and select different fluid dynamic visualizations. You can download the free app from Apple.

"Solar Equation", Light in winter festival, Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, 2010.

About Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's public art installations combine technology, architecture, and performance using devices like robotics, projections, and cell phones. He constructs "temporary anti-monuments for alien agency," as in Pulse Tank (2008), in which heart rate sensors send ripples across the surface of water, or the Guggenheim's 2009 installation Levels of Nothingness, which allowed people to speak into a computer that linked voice traits to colors that were projected across the room. His Vectorial Elevation (1999), in which 800,000 participants created searchlight sculptures above Mexico City, may well be the world's largest interactive artwork ever.

Mexican, b. 1967, Mexico City, Mexico, based in Mexico City, Mexico