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Beneath the Surface Blog


Thursday Salute to Originals: Ice Angel

GPI Design - Thursday, September 27, 2012

As cool autumn weather sweeps into Cleveland, the impending winter snowfalls are brought to the forefront of our minds. At the first sign of snow accumulating, the parks fill with families and children enjoying ice skating, sledding, tossing snowballs, and fearlessly falling backwards into the fluffy ground covering to make snow angels.

Artist Dominic Harris uses technology to heighten the snow angel creation process in his childlike yet haunting art installation, “Ice Angel”. Participants stand in front of a perforated metal screen backed with acrylic, the images of their arm movements recorded by specialty cameras and imprinted on the grid of white LEDs.

Ice Angel Dominic Harris Art Installation

Ice Angel Lighting System Art Installation

From the artist:

“Ice Angel blends the act of youthful playfulness when creating snow angels with modern digital manipulations, making the viewer assume the role of both performer and portrait subject.

As the user moves their arms a new wing shape appears, unfurling from the shoulders, moving and displacing virtual snow. The wings are created dynamically and are linked to the participant. The artwork has a ‘memory’, capturing a hidden view of the participant and their angel wings, and this specific angel identity remains linked to that participant in any future encounters with the artwork.

The merging of angel mythology and the natural phenomenon of light travelling to earth creates an intriguing intersection. In modern terms, light is our messenger, allowing us to view the universe. An angel’s form is inherently human, yet an angel always originates from beyond.”

On display in London, you can create your own angel image at Victoria & Albert Museum through Spring 2013.

Image credits: Dominic Harris, Fastco Design