dan corson’s solar powered flower installation: sonic bloom
all images courtesy of dan corson
in the playful context of seattle center’s festival grounds ‘sonic bloom’ by local artist dan corson is an interactive solar powered artwork. commissioned by the pacific science center, and with support from the seattle city light’s green up program, which encourages the development of renewable energy systems, five giant solar flowers absorb the sun’s energy – reflecting it at night with patterned LED lighting. sensors located in each flower are triggered by people’s movement, as the 40’ high by 20’ wide super-sized flowers set off a chorus of interactive harmonic tones. each flower has its own distinctive set of notes, simulating a singing chorus. engaging the public it is possible to compose and conduct music together, or just by walking through to randomly set off a harmonic sequence. the interactive choral sound component works both day and night providing a dynamic and ever-changing sonic landscape.
mounted on the top of each painted flower head are 46 locally made photo voltaic cells that collect the energy from the sun and feed it back into the electrical grid. this sustainable feature completely offsets the energy-efficient LED lighting and speaker electrical consumption for the project. sporting frosted acrylic petals that glow like glass when backlit, at nighttime the illuminated sculptures are awash in moving color and concentric echo-inspired patterns.
sensors located in each flower are triggered by people’s movement, setting off a chorus of interactive harmonic tones
the title ‘sonic bloom’ refers not only to its location ‘on the puget sound’ but also to the interactive singing flowers
during the day the solar flowers absorb the sun’s energy – illuminating them it at night with patterned LED lighting
‘sonic bloom’ features frosted acrylic petals that glow like glass when backlit at night
an interactive sound component works both day and night, providing a dynamic and ever-changing sonic landscape
the striped stalks not only accentuate the curved stems, but are decipherable ‘barcodes’, making a super-sized puzzle
‘sonic bloom’ and framed views of seattle’s space needle
custom solar cells were created for the project, with an optimized size for viewing down from the space needle