San Diego International Airport recently unveiled its newest
public artwork in Terminal 1.
The piece, "Signalscape" by local architect/designer Miki Iwasaki, measures approximately 64 feet in length and is mounted over the baggage claim area. It is equipped with motion sensors that light up as people walk by.
project is part of Phase II of the Airport Art Master Plan, which sets out to integrate artwork into the design and infrastructure of San Diego International Airport.
We asked Iwasaki, a professor at Woodbury University, to tell us more about the installation:Miki Iwasaki: It was a
difficult piece in many ways, the context of the airport and the space
itself was a challenge to work with. The piece came from a collection
of ideas that came from the context of the site and how it can be
expressed through the [new series] that is beginning to emerge in my
work. Part of it has to do with the airport and its various
associations—people, flight, views, passage, time, etc. Another has to
do with our digital culture today and the various implications of media,
surveillance, control, etc. These ideas were the starting point for me
to try to create a piece that works in that space.
The idea for the motion sensors are part of the larger idea in my
work. I am looking at work that involves more than just the visual. Pieces that engage the body.
CityBeat: Why was including the motion sensor important to the piece?
What does the visual pattern represent?
Nothing specifically. I mean it doesn't spell anything out nor is
it symbolic. But its abstraction can be be associated with
communication and information, I suppose.
You enjoy working with wood as a medium. Why is that? For such a large-scale piece, did you consider using any other materials?Yes, well, I am often drawn to wood as a medium but I am working in
a variety of materials at the moment. This choice for wood for this
piece was [due to the] context. A bit unexpected, but [wood] also has strong
historical connection to aviation.
I am going to try and catch my breath, collect my thoughts and
spend time with my wife and son. There are some projects on the boards
for 2012 but not ready to announce them quite yet.
Are you working on anything else we should know about?