AxS Festival 2014 | CURIOSITY is presenting the North American premiere of SPHAERAE, a large-scale temporary public artwork by Dutch artist Cocky Eek.

SPHAERAE is an inflatable pavilion — a component of an ongoing strand of research by architect Eek into the pneumatology and tactility of inflatables and lightweight spaces. Developed in partnership with Synergetica Lab in Amsterdam and the Artscience Interfaculty program in The Hague, SPHAERAE consists of five semi-transparent bubbles of different sizes, which together form a multi-dome construction designed for immersive, synaesthetic experience.

Eek was inspired to create SPHAERAE by an evening of audiovisual works in a planetarium, including 10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, an audiovisual performance work by Netherlands-based artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand.

DOMNITCH GELFANDFeathers_TodaysArtUnlike ordinary light, the laser’s focused beam is capable of generating a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as mind-boggling phenomena of non-linear optics. Sphæræ’s inflatable structure was designed to both serve as a platform for this uniquely spectacular work, as well as create a venue for other artists, scientists, and performers to make 180° works and compositions which explore the phenomena of light, sound and movement within the domes.

AxS Festival 2014 will present Domnitch + Gelfand in a live performance of 10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid — the work that inspired the creation of the SPHAERAE platform — and Solunaris, a new collaborative work by William Basinski & Richard Chartier commissioned by the Pasadena Arts Council and curated by Domnitch + Gelfand.

SPHAERAE will also feature the premiere of Sol Path, a new interactive music work by composer/cognitive scientist Bruno Louchouarn. A concerto for solo viola/percussion/soundscape, Sol Path features live performance by renowned viola soloist Brett Deubner, and immersive multi-media by Asheville, North Carolina-based designer Adam Larsen.

SolPathSol Path is inspired by the exploratory path that the Rover takes over the course of a Martian day — a Sol — which is collaboratively programmed by a team of Earth-bound explorers. Sol Path was created in part with composer Louchouarn in residency at NASA/JPL. Through his dialogues with the Mars Curiosity team — rover drivers, artificial intelligence designers, the “planetary protection team” and others — actual data from the Curiosity mission will become inputs to Louchoarn’s composition and inform the very shape of the experience.

SPHAERAE will be on view for the duration of AxS Festival 2014 | CURIOSITY and feature projects including work, as a far-ranging program of sound works, video screenings, and talks by artists including Chris Duncan, Jeff Cain, Mattia Casalegno, Francisco López, Intimatchine, Lucky Dragons, Mike Harding/Touch, Yann Novak, Eric Parren, Paul Prudence, Steve Roden, Jet Smits, Julie Tolentino, Martijn Van Boven, Bas Van Koolwijk, and Virons.

Parking and Seating: Audience will be seated on the floor for all SPHAERAE events. Convenient, free parking for SPHAERAE events is available in the parking lot across the street from the U.S. Court of Appeals at 125 S. Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105. It is a short walk from the parking lot to SPHAERAE. Street parking is also available on Grand Avenue and along Orange Grove Blvd. Click here to download a map. 

The North American premiere of SPHAERAE is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Fund and GuestHaus Residency.