How could I resist going to the unveiling of unique art project in Buffalo, NY Friday night. The Burchfield Penny Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State turned on "the world's first permanent, environmentally-responsive, 24/7/365, outdoor new media gallery" forever. The three projection towers are the real attraction... the audio and video are icing on the cup cake.
According to Art Voice...
The Burchfield Penney is billing the Front Yard as “the world’s first permanent, environmentally-responsive, 24/7/365, outdoor new media gallery,” and indeed it is unique: In addition to the fact that it will permanently transform the long, gray wall of the center facing Elmwood into a projection surface, sensors on a weather tower will read environmental conditions—temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation—and summon corresponding images and sounds. This sensitivity to weather is an homage to Charles Burchfield, the center’s namesake, whose work dealt extensively with changes in seasons and climate.
But what makes this installation even more unusual in art world is that it is both an art project itself and a permanent, changeable tool with which other artists can work.
“The openhandedness of what Brian and Brad have done, the generosity of it, is unique,” says Anthony Bannon, the Burchfield Penney’s executive director, in describing the project, which is a collaboration between architect Brad Wales and his Small Built Projects class at the University at Buffalo and video artist Brian Milbrand, who is technical director for Buffalo State College’s Communications Department. “Their art is to create the means for others to make art.
“Essentially what we’ve done is to build a system for the algorithm that becomes an artist’s pallette.”
According to the Buffalo News...
And after the sky turns dark enough, an ever-evolving series of videos will flicker across the building, inevitably prompting drivers to slow to a crawl along the busy avenue and scratch their heads over some snippet of beauty or visual noise they would never otherwise have seen.
The videos thrown up on the center’s wall will range, as they did on the installation’s opening night, from the pioneering work of Buffalo’s much-ballyhooed media art movement of the 1970s to new video and sound works from local contemporary artists.
As the sun rises each morning, the Burchfield’s facade will return to normal, but a powerful 6.1-channel surround sound system will run all day, every day, featuring a rotating series of work by sound artists that will also respond to environmental changes.