Moving swiftly towards many parallel conclusions, the progress of SOLAR FLARE will be quick and dirty. After returning from exhibiting CLOUD at GLOW Forum of Art & Architecture in the Netherlands a week ago, we’ve fallen head over heals into solidifying our newest project. The designs, drafted by our architect Ivan Ostapenko are finished and ready for stamping by our structural engineer, Justin Williams, and the roster of specialized participants is getting larger by the day (a welder, an installation assistant, perhaps a heavy machinery operator). By early December, SOLAR FLARE will be installed in downtown Calgary – welcome to the calm before the storm.
Preparing for this project, especially after several brief international successes, we’ve spent some serious time deconstructing our processes, contemplating interactivity and perception, and thinking about art’s social and communal potentials. What does it mean to make public art? What function (or non-function) does it serve? How can art maintain relevancy in a fast and mediated world? How can public art mirror, magnify, and engage the world around it? Basically, when you deconstruct the most appealing parts of temporary public installations, what do you find? And how we, as artists, plant those magic beans inside a new sculpture?
After considering these questions for months, we have a chance to put our thoughts into practice, and while the anticipation builds, we wonder how much influence we actual have. Is it realistic to believe that magic spaces can be modeled and built by design? Or, in the end, will the nature of public space inevitably dictate the final context and impact carried by SOLAR FLARE?