“The Principals:” the name sounds a little bit like a superhero moniker akin to The Incredibles or The Avengers, and in a way, the analogy is appropriate. This Brooklyn-based industrial design team is indeed at the top of its field, master of interactive, architectural installations, creating what some might call supernatural artworks that explore light, sound and kinetic space in entirely new ways.
The Principals’ most recent project, called Hammertone, was unveiled at MOMA PS1 in New York on August 4th, 2012. The installation created a colorful, undulating backdrop for the museum’s high profile summer concert series, which included performances by Matthew Dear, Jamie XX and others. Constructed from painted paper, aluminum, wood and LED strips, the amorphous, mosaic-like structure responds to vibrations and sound using sensors and tiny motors, creating a flashing and pulsing effect as music plays. The paper pieces move like a beating heart and sparkle from within thanks to LED tape lighting. Rays of LED strip lighting surround the central structure, shooting outward in geometric patterns. The overall effect is of something that is at once mathematically planned and organically perceived.
We live in an age of highly produced, exceedingly digital performances that employ everything from 3D projection mapping to lasers and larger-than-life light shows. Hammertone is refreshing because it employs a more tactile approach. Though it achieves a sophisticated aesthetic and requires complex engineering and technology to function, the piece retains hand-made, authentically human feel.
Check out a video of Hammertone in action, and stay tuned for more exciting LED installations from this creative crew!
Thanks to MocoLoco for the images.