OÖ Landesgartenschau Kremsmünster 2017 & Ars Electronica Linz present:
Pneuma Fountain in the Kremsmünster Monastery’s Courtyard
(Kremsmünster/Linz, June 14, 2017) “Harmonious Triad of Gardens” is the theme of the 2017 Garden Show of the State of Upper Austria running until October 15th in Kremsmünster. One of the featured attractions greets visitors right at the entrance to this year’s venue: “Pneuma Fountain,” a robotic sculpture by prominent American artist Chico MacMurtrie, radiates from the center of the Prälatenhof, Kremsmünster Monastery’s baroque courtyard. The 4-meter-tall, 16-meter-wide structure was commissioned by the OÖ Landesgartenschau in collaboration with Ars Electronica Linz. The project is supported by KAESER Compressors and Greiner Holding AG.
Pneuma Fountain – The Magic of Kinetics
The Pneuma Fountain, a depiction of organic transformation and movement, is the temporary centerpiece of the Prälatenhof at Kremsmünster Monastery. The inflatable robotic sculpture consists of eight 9-meter-long tubes constructed of fine translucent fabric. They are attached at their base to a compressor, and arch and taper towards their tips. When the compressor is turned on, the arms spring to life and change shape as they fill with air, rising up to the sky and curving back down again. They evoke streams of water in slow motion as they form an ephemeral circle 16 meters in diameter, emanating from a cylinder that houses the technological brain, which uses software to interpolate and map the spatial coordinates and velocity of the sculpture’s movements. Then as the arches gradually release air, their crisp architectural forms yield to seemingly chaotic coils and other configurations that reflect their built-in kinetic “memory” and suggest another, more organic order. The cycles of air exchange and movement are inspired by a respect for the continual yet delicate flows of energy and matter between organisms and their environments. Pneuma Fountain’s continuous metamorphosis is designed to engage and transform the space around it, providing a contemplative experience of movement, air, light and architecture.
Chico MacMurtrie and the Amorphic Robot Works
Chico MacMurtrie’s robotic sculptures seem to breathe. They move, stretch and expand, contract and sink to the ground. His structures have tentacles—sometimes they resemble wings, or legs, or even jets of water. They are kinetic compositions of motion and sound, form and space. Chico MacMurtrie’s workshop is a former seamen’s church in Brooklyn rechristened The Robotic Church. Here, Chico MacMurtrie collaborates with the Amorphic Robot Works, a collective made up of artists, technicians, musicians and scientists. For his “Inflatable Architectural Bodies,” Chico MacMurtrie brought in a textile firm that specializes in developing extremely stable synthetic fabrics.
Bill Bowen: Hardware and Software
Luise Kaunert: Project Management
Luisa Funk: Senior Inflatables Technician
Simon Lupfer: Senior Inflatables Technician
Zhonyuang Zyia: Senior Inflatables Technician
Felicia Banks: Inflatables Technician
Ryan Hunter: Inflatables Technician
Sailor Banks: CAD, pneumatics
Tom Philips: Fabrication
Bobby Zokaites: Fabrication
Nathan Kim: Project Intern