Wandering Downtown (cont.)
AND THE STORY OF THE EXPLORATION WE DID IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA ON FRIDAY CONTINUES… I ended the last post talking about how my kids were enamored with an exhibit setup in a gallery at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. You’d think we would have been disappointed since the museum technically closed it’s doors at 5:00 pm on Friday. We got there just in time to renew our membership and do some browsing in the museum shop. Outside in the courtyard to the side of the High, a gallery exhibition was being set up. Once the kids saw these tables in the window they were hooked on gazing into the window to figure it all out. At first glance I thought…oh, baroque tables on display, interesting. But then I looked closer and saw the little cubes which made up the flowers, duck, and other figures.
As I pondered the familiarity of the icons my three began saying, “It looks like the background from Mario Brother’s games! Look, a cloud! The flower is the fire flower!” and next they figured out that the two tables in the window which looked identical were actually two different scaled items…and that the cubes were appropriately sized for the resolution of each one. (Smaller table = smaller cubes) For several minutes they were peering into the window trying to watch the orange robot machine building something. There was an artist working on the computer to refine the movement of the robot. A blonde man was watching the placement of the cubes intensely.
Finally, the artists took a break and stepped outside. My kids walked up to them before I even had time to restrain them. They had questions to ask and the artists kindly answered them with smiles. Each answer received intense attention by my three kiddos. I’ll admit it, I was interested, too.
This is a snapshot I took of William and Grace talking to the innovator Joris Laarman about voxels. They were hanging onto every word he said. He genuinely wanted to hear their impressions of the work and talk to them about ideas. What a priceless moment for them.
This is what we learned:
- The cubes are called “voxels“.
- The ones used in this exhibit and work are made from Neodymium.
- Neodymium is a rare earth element which holds a magnetic charge extremely well.
- These tables and other objects are made of voxels which have been charged. There is a whole science behind putting these together.
- Research is being done at universities and in other scientific and visualization labs using voxels. Video games can be created using voxels.
- Voxel research may lead to new manufacturing processes because the items which could be produced would be smaller or more intricate than human hands could produce.
The new exhibit is called
by Joris Laarman Labs
Blurring the lines between art and science, this installation allows you to experience design in process as a robot named Abby forms a table made of metal blocks. Two completed variations compliment the work in progress.
Opens June 4, 2011
There is a lecture regarding the work on June 2nd at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, 7 pm in the Rich Theater. Members may make reservations through this link.
The artists gave the kids each a grouping of the neodymium voxels as keepsakes from the conversation. They walked away from that discussion with complete “Wow” on their faces. Honestly, I was wowed.
To finish our Wandering Adventure, we hopped on the Marta at the Arts Center station and then made our way towards the CNN Center and the Georgia Aquarium. We decided to celebrate the day – and my husband’s new job – over looking the aquarium at Legal Sea Foods. It was a delicious way to end the day.
I think this day will go down in history as one of the best accidental explorations days we had together.
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