Each night, a projected sun rises on the face of The Minoru Yasui Building in downtown Denver. As the night progresses, the image climbs up to the top of the east facade. The projection continues throughout the night and sets as the real sun rises. This unique light mural, commissioned by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, is entirely solar powered. SUNLIGHT uses actual sunlight to render the sun.
The real-time computer simulation driving SUNLIGHT mixes scientific imaging with how our eyes perceive the sun. The projected sun shrinks in size as it rises up the building and changes from red to orange to yellow to white. Sunrays increasingly emanate from the projection as it reaches the top of the building. The ‘omega’ and the green flash phenomenon, difficult to see with the naked eye, are shown accurately in the projection.
“SUNLIGHT provides the unique experience of examining the sun first hand.” said Mr. Frank. “This is an iconic installation. It combines real sunlight with a projected computer simulation of the sun to make one entirely new perception.”
SUNLIGHT uses an extremely bright, 20,000 lumen, high definition, digital projector. A robotic mirror, attached to the front of the projector, moves the image up and down the building. MaTriX Display Systems, audio-visual technology experts, are installing the equipment on a balcony across the street from the projection surface. This arrangement provides an image that can be seen all around the city. SUNLIGHT is a permanent addition to the Denver skyline.
This artwork was commissioned by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. A Denver city ordinance requires that capital improvement projects over one million dollars must allocate 1% of the construction budget for the acquisition of public art. An open, international competition with 163 applicants resulted in awarding the commission to Adam Frank.
Namasté Solar, a Boulder-based, employee-owned Solar Electric Company, is providing the solar array through their Matching Grant program. The array produces an average of 1118 kWh per month of electricity, much more than the art installation requires. The extra energy goes directly into the local power grid. This reduces Denver’s electricity bill and the city’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Denver has over 300 days of sunshine a year, more direct sunlight than any other major American city. The government and growing solar industry in Colorado are positioning to take the lead in transforming the energy future of the United States. “SUNLIGHT is meant as both a symbol and a demonstration of this profound change,” said Mr. Frank.
SUNLIGHT officially went live July 1st 2010. Images and video available at http://www.adamfrank.com/sunlight/sunlight.htm
About Adam Frank:
Adam Frank is an internationally shown artist, designer and product inventor. His body of work represents an ongoing investigation of light and interactivity. This investigation naturally blurs the boundaries between fine art and design products for the home. His products, made entirely in Brooklyn NYC, are sold in stores all over the world. For more information please visit www.adamfrank.com