In a dynamic presentation of hyper-realist florals, NoMa’s new light installation, “Vicissitude,” features the District’s cherry blossom by way of digital movement. The visualization is a site-specific installation that projects on the apartment complex The Burton.
The looping visualization opens with the sprouting of pink buds, becoming increasingly abstract before transforming into hyper-realistic dogwood blooms. As the blossoms become visible, the projection pans out to present the tree of the dogwood, and subsequently leans in for a closer look at the blooms of the tree.
“Vicissitude” creator Robin Bell is known for his striking, bolded projections offering societal commentary ranging from the climate crisis to building awareness around global inequities.
“The core of all my work is trying to make the world a better place,” Bell said at the grand opening.
Bell explained the creation of the “Vicissitude” involved a meticulous inspection of the shape of the blossoms. Employing a 3-D printer to capture the image of the physical flower, Bell was able to convert the blooms into a digital form. From there, Bell coded movement into the virtual blooms with intention to guide the viewer through the flowers and branches of the dogwood.
What’s special about “Vicissitude,” and Bell’s projections at large, is the visualization will continue to evolve during the installation period. After a week and a half of the initial projection, Bell will alter “Vicissitude” to present a new movement pattern. This artistic choice is a nod to the ever-fleeting nature of the blooms, which enter their peak after two weeks of blossoming.
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“Vicissitude” is on display every night from 7:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at The Burton until April 3.