Kinetic Rain: Hypnotic droplet installation moves into Changi Airport

I do love the Kinetic Rain sculpture at Terminal 1 of Singapore’s Changi Airport – it reminds me of the Troika Shoal in Toronto’s Waterfront building.

Airports are such massive spaces and they seem to operate outside the usual time and geography constraints. I remember sitting in the baggage reclaim area of Alicante’s airport – a cavernous space which happened to have an abandoned wheelchair facing one of the luggage conveyors – and thinking that if the Rapture had happened this is probably what it would look like. I feel like they’re perfect places to house artworks.

Sure a lot of the people passing by are stressed out of their minds or furiously shopping the hell out of the tax-free stores but countless others are casting around for something to do or to focus on. Instead of a Starbucks, why not an art installation? (Unless the Starbucks at Terminal 5 is an art installation and I am embarrassingly ignorant of the fact)

Airport opinions aside, here’s some information from the technical side of the fence…

According to ART+COM, who were commissioned to create Kinetic Rain:

“[It] is composed of two parts, each consisting of 608 rain droplets made of lightweight aluminum covered with copper. Suspended from thin steel ropes above the two opposing escalators, each droplet is moved precisely and seemingly floating by a computer-controlled motor hidden in the halls ceiling. The drops follow a 15-minute, computationally designed choreography where the two parts move together in unison, sometimes mirroring, sometimes complementing, and sometimes responding to each other.”

Watching the video there’s one point where the droplets fall into formation to create a 3D outline of an airplane which I can’t make up my mind as to whether it’s cheesy or not. There’s always the possibility that some kind of airport branding or symbolism was written into the project brief. But overall I like the hypnotic movement and the choreography.

Come on Heathrow – YOUR MOVE.

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