airFIELD is a dynamic sculpture synced to real-time flight data reflecting the heartbeat of the world’s busiest air travel hub, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Suspended in the center of the airport’s new international terminal, the 90-foot-long by 30-foot-wide (27.4m x 9.1m) data-driven art piece evokes the wonder of flight with its two intersecting, sweeping forms.
Developed and fabricated by the digital art platform UEBERSEE, airFIELD is composed of thousands of custom-made liquid crystal discs that change from opaque to transparent states with an electric charge. All of the sculpture’s discs are controlled by a custom-engineered computer program. The software constantly monitors a live stream of Atlanta flight traffic data that triggers generative motion behavior rippling through the sculpture. These movements follow coded dynamic parameters, allowing for an ever-evolving visual experience that creates the sensation of flight.
“A Georgia native, I frequently find myself at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. airFIELD is quiet, complex, and meditative. It is a nice respite for harried, weary travelers.”
“This is an innovative way to activate a space through a dynamic piece of sculpture. The solution and integration of data interpretation to drive the sculpture is both elegant and contextually intriguing.”
Jamie Barlow, Dan Goods
Nik Hafermaas (artists)
Daniel Massey (programming)
Gustave Huber (technical direction)
Andrew Kudless/Matsys (Parametric Design)
Alex Smith (iPad hacking)
Simon Franklyn with Andersen and Associates (engineering); Katherine Marbury, David Vogt (art consultants)
Jim Hetherington, UEBERSEE, Inc. (fabrication and installation)
Jamie Barlow, UEBERSEE, Inc. (project management)
Citala US Inc. (liquid crystal discs)
FlightAware Inc. (real time data feeds)