Saturday, December 31, 2011
Posted by brx0 _ at 7:12 PM
A few photos of the funky "Glacia" ice feature at the Crystals mall in Vegas, which I took while wandering through and not buying anything. A CityCenter press release describes it:
At the entrance, Glacia “cools” guests with large pillars of carved ice that rise as tall as 15 feet. And “rise” is the operative word, as these columns emerge silently from a pristine pool, ascending slowly upward as immense monoliths of frozen water. As each ice monument rises, it is carved at water level into intricate, three-dimensional patterns. Colored lighting combines with the varied ice clarities --sometimes crystal clear, sometimes frosty white-- to produce a visual experience that never repeats itself. Grammy winner Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead is creating a “tonal poem” to accompany this visual surprise.
WET Design describes it in similar terms:
WET's cutting-edge creations help to reveal a world of fascination and wonder at every turn at CityCenter in Las Vegas. The water designs play an integral role in producing an immediate feeling of elegance and surprise throughout the grounds. Crystals, the stunning retail and entertainment district, designed by architects Studio Daniel Libeskind and Rockwell Group, houses Glacia and Halo, two cutting-edge features that exist in pure harmony with one another. Glacia "cools" guests with large pillars of carved ice that rise as tall as 15 feet. As each ice monument rises, it is magically whittled into intricate, three dimensional patterns. Mesmerizing hues bathe this poised feature in spectral light to produce a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. Grammy winner Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead is creating a "tonal poem" to accompany this visual surprise.
Posted by brx0 _ at 4:11 PM
A short video clip of the "Halo" water feature inside the Crystals mall in Las Vegas. A CityCenter press release describes it thusly:
Halo materializes as a series of water vortices held captive within clear cylinders that thrust up through the floor. Sloped, as though about to fall, the swirling water appears caught in constant struggle to right itself with its inherent sense of verticality. These swirls of color serve as a main focal point of the atrium. In between stops at Louis Vuitton and Gucci, guests and visitors are free to walk through and touch or embrace this maze of spinning water while staying completely dry. WET’s elemental features at CityCenter set the spirit for the sophisticated experience that visitors to this unprecedented destination will enjoy.
WET Design, the firm behind all of the CityCenter water widgets, has this to say about it:
WET's cutting-edge creations help to reveal a world of fascination and wonder at every turn at CityCenter in Las Vegas. The water designs play an integral role in producing an immediate feeling of elegance and surprise throughout the grounds. Crystals, the stunning retail and entertainment district, designed by architects Studio Daniel Libeskind and Rockwell Group, houses Glacia and Halo, two cutting-edge features that exist in pure harmony with one another. The unexpected nature of Halo's twisting water vortices, tipped as though about to fall, enlivens Crystals' shopping experience and presents a sense of mystique for guests wandering among the lavish shops. Visitors are free to stroll through, touching or embracing this maze of spinning water, all the while staying completely dry.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Turns out I had another Vegas art post sitting around in the drafts folder. This, or rather these, are "Bolt", "Bent of Mind", and "Untitled (Tall Column)", by the British sculptor Tony Cragg, located at one entrance to the Aria hotel. I'm not really sure which of them is which though, as they're all variations on the same theme and I neglected to check the signage. I may have had a daiquiri or two prior to coming across them, and even without daiquiris one can only stop so many times in a row and go "OOOhhh" and start snapping photos before (justified) spousal annoyance becomes a limiting factor.
This is supposed to be a photo of "Bent of Mind". Although there's apparently a second, larger "Bent of Mind" in Grand Rapids, MI, made of bronze rather than stainless steel. An about.com page about CityCenter art mentions all three but doesn't really help with the whole which-is-which thing.
Anyway, here are some photos from a 2007 NYC gallery show of his works, plus the New York Times review of that show. The NYT article mentions a Brancusi influence to the pieces in the show, which are generally in the same style as the ones at the Aria. I can see the resemblance, or I think I do, but then I generally like Brancusi's work as well. Wait, are we still talking about Vegas here?
Posted by brx0 _ at 9:03 PM
View Larger Map
A few photos from the Kansas City Airport, taken during a layover on my way back from Florida. It was supposed to be a 2 hour layover, but it expanded into most of a day when our original plane developed mechanical issues.
I quickly realized this was not going to be my favorite airport in the world. The Wikipedia link above mentions that the airport design was TWA's 1960s vision of the "Airport of the Future", a glamorous jet-setting hub for globe-crossing 747s and SSTs. Part of this vision was the idea that you could pretty much drive right up to the gate and hop on the plane with as little hassle as possible. Which might have been really convenient and fabulous at one time, but wedge in some modern TSA gates and bulky security-theater gear, and it becomes a confusing, claustrophobic sort of place.
I actually had to leave the secured zone just to find a hot meal (and, ok, a margarita or two), and had to go back through security -- complete with a full body scanner -- to get back to my gate. Later (as the layover dragged on), I discovered there was supposed to be a Boulevard brewpub somewhere else in the airport & thought I'd track it down. But not only would I have had to pass through security at least one more time, I'd also have to take a shuttle bus to another terminal. So I reluctantly chalked that one up as impractical. Which was a shame, since the food options at the airport are pretty minimal otherwise. I was really hoping there would be a reasonably authentic barbecue joint somewhere in the airport, being Kansas City and all, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case.
If you don't want the security gate hassle, all they've got are some snack bars -- cold sandwiches, fruit plates, that sort of thing. Oh, and beer. That was one nice thing about the place: They're operating under Missouri liquor laws, which are about the most lenient in the nation other than Louisiana and Nevada. So I walked over to a snack bar and got a fruit plate and a semi-local IPA. They have to open the can for you, but then you can just carry the beer back to the gate to enjoy at your leisure (although you can't bring your open beer with you onto your plane, apparently). So there's that, anyway.
Oh, and here's a sign you won't see at the Portland airport. I kept overhearing people -- like myself just passing through -- muttering the word "tornado", like it's the one solid fact people from either coast know about the Midwest, and they don't like the sound of it. Which is amusing considering the East Coast has hurricanes, and the West Coast has earthquakes and even volcanoes, and that doesn't seem to scare people away. I think the Midwest needs better PR people or something.
Posted by brx0 _ at 8:04 PM
A few photos of the famous countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center press site. The clock and the nearby flagpole date back to the Apollo days (and it shows, as you can see in some of the close up photos), and they're listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I'm sure they kept the original clock around in part because it's such a distinctive, iconic object, and I'd be curious to know who designed it. If the NRHP file for the clock had been digitized that info would be easy to discover, but unfortunately it's yet not available online. If/when I find out I'll come back and update this post with more info about the clock, its origins, and hopefully info on other stuff by the same designer or design team, because that's always interesting, or at least it is to me.
Posted by brx0 _ at 6:33 PM
Location: Kennedy Space Center Press Site, John F Kennedy Space Center Library, Headquarters Bldg 1301, Kennedy Spc Ctr, FL 32815, USA