Leo Villareal "Buckyball" 2015
29" x 19.75" x 19.75" (73.7 x 50.2 x 50.2 cm.)
Edition of 8
Buckyball is a light sculpture composed of 180 custom-made LED microtubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons. The artwork takes on the form of a 'fullerene', discovered by nanotechnologists at Rice University in the 80's and named after Buckminster Fuller, the American systems theorist and architect. Domestic in size and housed indoors, this work is similar in design to the monumental light sculpture the artist presented in Madison Square Park in 2012-13, and shares elements familiar to the artist's work: software programs that sequence light patterns in an infinite combination and with the possibility of realizing 16 million distinct colors, evolving randomly and changing constantly. Through basic elements such as pixels and binary codes, Villareal allows for a better understanding of the underlying structures and systems that govern everyday function. As the artist builds these simple elements into a full-scale sculptural installation that moves, changes and interacts, this work ultimately grows into a complex, dynamic form that questions common notions of space, time, and sensorial pleasure.
Trained as a sculptor, Leo Villareal has been working with light and computer code for more than a decade, creating commanding installations, sculptures, and public projects that are at once enchanting and disorienting. His kinetic works are composed of white or multicolored incandescent, strobe, neon, or LED lights, whose pulsing, flickering, and fading is controlled by computer code that he writes himself. Fascinated by the capability of mathematically defined systems to generate unpredictable sequences, and deeply influenced by Dan Flavin and the systems-based theories of British mathematician John Conway, Villareal plays with our inclination to find patterns in randomness. Claiming that his works are portraits of Conway’s rules, Villareal programs his lights to pulse in non-repeating sequences that simultaneously defy and suggest order. They also suggest natural phenomena—heaving across a rectangular ground like waves, twinkling like stars, or glowing like a setting sun.
Courtesy of Sandra Gering Inc