|Photo by Lara Swimmer
Austrian-born artist Erwin Redl uses LEDs as an artistic medium. Working in both two and three dimensions, his works redefine interior and exterior spaces. Born in 1963, Redl began his studies as a musician, receiving a BA in Composition and Diploma in Electronic Music at the Music Academy in Vienna, Austria. In 1995, he received an MFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he now lives.
Redl's works have received attention both nationally and internationally. With his piece Matrix VI (detail), he lit the face of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art for its 2002 Biennial Exhibit. Works such as Matrix II, which was shown in New York, Germany, France, Austria, and Korea, and Fade I, which animated the Eglise Sainte-Marie Madeleine in Lille, France, explore volume and allow people to move through lit spaces.
The Washington State Arts Commission chose Redl to create a piece for the Paul G. Allen Center with funds from Washington State's Art in Public Places Program. Redl's work for the Allen Center, "Nocturnal Flow", uses the 85-foot brick column at the west end of the atrium. In his proposal to the UW Public Art Commission, Erwin Redl wrote:
"Nocturnal Flow emphasizes the vertical dimension of the building's atrium. The interior brick wall is the only architectural element reaching from the floor to the ceiling. The installation uses this wall to create an enormous plane of light that conceptually links the different floors of the building.
The ambient light level in the atrium controls the appearance of the white grid of 10,000 LEDs mounted floor-to-ceiling on the brick wall. During the day, when the sun shines through the skylight and the light level is at its maximum, the grid is evenly lit. At night the LED grid becomes animated and moves upwards. A light sensor on top of the building measures the external light level (influenced by the weather conditions and the position of the sun) and changes the intensity of the animation accordingly."
Erwin Redl's Web page
Carl Solway Gallery
Lara Swimmer photos of Nocturnal Flow
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Art in the Allen Center