Public art on Campus: Luminous Waveform

One of the newest pieces of artwork to be found on campus applies the innovative  technologies created by Mines students and other engineers from across the country to transform art from a static to a dynamic medium. It is a piece known as Luminous Waveform. Its installation was completed on July 25, 2018. If you started attending Mines in the fall of 2017 or earlier, this piece of art is an underclassman to you.

Because of Colorado’s public art statute, one percent of the capital construction funds for the new CoorsTek building were set aside for a public art project. A conservative estimate for the project is fifteen thousand dollars, based on the Coors family donation of 26.9 million dollars used to purchase new laboratory equipment, establish a research fellowship, and  construct the CoorsTek Building.    Luminous Waveform was designed by two artists, David Cole and Michel Brown, whose ideas were chosen from four finalists of an open call to artists. It uses the motion of students beneath it to trigger patterns in its movement and LED color display. The art moves somewhat in real time as students move around underneath it, but it’s most interesting to compare the alignment of the 240 ceramic tiles in the early morning and at the end of the day.

If you are struggling to figure out where on campus this installation is located, you are probably not alone. The next time you are walking through the eastern entrance to CoorsTek, look up as you ascend the stairs to the main floor. Hanging above your head will be the tiles and lights that make up Luminous Waveform.

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