3D/Sculpture Award


Esther Rolinson and Sean Clark

United Kingdom

Flown is an interactive light installation by Esther Rolinson, developed with artist/programmer Sean Clark. It is an immersive form, constructed from multiple interlocking geometric shapes embedded with LEDs. Flown appears as an ephemeral drifting cloud-like structure, one that we are experiencing at both a macro and micro level, watching light refracting through it’s form.

Flown is made from hand-folded acrylic and has been developed through a drawing and model making process. It is a scaleable collection of parts that can be reconfigured to suit it’s location. Flown was first commissioned for the Illuminating York Light Festival as a large-scale light work containing over 800 pieces and has more recently been exhibited at CHI’16 in San José on a smaller scale using 200 pieces. It has a simple supporting structure of tensioned cables that secures over and through structures or onto a simple flat surface.

The lighting control system used within Flown animates the structure with waves of light and delicate colour. This was designed in response to the drawing process and the physical form, extending the subtle and ephemeral language of the piece. A set of sensors measuring humidity, temperature and light are used to connect the artwork to it’s environment. The structure responds gently to the physical space, like a living thing, breathing in sensory information that influences it’s behaviour whilst maintaining a core identity. Flown can also connect via the Internet to other versions of itself to create large-scale ecologies of light and interaction.

Flown uses a Photon Internet-connected microcontroller with multiple environment sensors, a custom lighting rig and bespoke programming. The lighting rig is composed of 300 RGB LEDs arranged in groups of six as to produce fifty addressable sources of light. Each source is fitted with a custom diffuser before being embedded in the physical structure of Flown.