Miami-Dade Art in Public Places to unveil work by Ivan Toth Depeña

August 2011.


Ivan Toth Depeña’s light-based installation “Reflect” will be permanently installed in the Stephen Clark Government Center Lobby in Miami in late August 2011. Commissioned by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places initiative in October 2010, the work will illuminate the dynamism of the lobby space and encourage a sense of discovery in the visitors.

“After thorough site observation and documentation, it became clear that it is very important for the proposed solution to explore methods of unifying the space’s design/architecture, while providing an updated aesthetic and enlivening the space as a whole,” says Depeña.

As a main stop in Miami’s MetroRail system, the space serves as a hub for commuters; incorporating the notion of daily circulation into his piece, Depeña uses sensors and light to focus on the communal nature and circulatory qualities of the lobby. The project will engage the building’s visitors and reference the idea of community through various means of reflection, group interactivity and high-tech playfulness.

The basis of the project will be custom designed LED light boxes placed at specific locations throughout the lobby space. These light boxes will interact and respond to the commuter’s movement and gesture via camera tracking, creating an energetic and vibrant artwork.

The custom software and individually programmed LED nodes will be the anchor of the work’s responsiveness and interactivity. Passers-by will have their images captured by several infrared cameras; the installation’s software will then abstract that image in real time, displaying this abstraction on the light covered columns. The resulting image will create an ethereal mirror that testifies to the participation of the audience and the activity of the space.

The colorful lights of the installation will engage those beyond the lobby – as some columns face the public plaza – and the installation will remain functioning even when there are no active participants, as the lightboxes retain the “memory” of users’ interactivity. Sensitive enough to detect the difference between multiple and single users, the system will vary the output and scale of the display to the number of visitors, and the hues will change according to the time of day. All visitors will experience the vibrancy of Depeña’s work and witness the patterns produced by other users, elaborating on the idea of time and memory in the space.

Ivan Toth Depeña is an artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, NY and Miami, Florida. Ivan’s studio practice is based on his multi-disciplinary approach to envisioning work. With a Masters Degree in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Depeña’s output as an artist is informed by his experience in art, architecture, technology and design. Combining many sources of media, technology, form and materials, Depeña seeks to blur boundaries and create work that exists within a new and amorphous hybrid of various creative disciplines.

His recent exhibitions include, “Aesthetics and Values 2011” at the Frost Museum in Miami, “Miami in Transition” at the Miami Art Museum and various group and solo exhibitions throughout the US. Ivan is the recipient of several grants including the “South Florida Visual + Media Artist Fellowship Grant”. He has completed residencies at the “Atlantic Center for the Arts” in Florida and the “Digital Sculpture and Public Art residencies” at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Stephen P. Clark Government Center Lobby
150 NW 1st Street,
Miami, FL 33130

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