ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art
 
ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art
aug 13, 2010

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art

gaston nogues and benjamin ball at the entrance of their LA studio image © designboom

 

 

 

the indianapolis museum of art (IMA) commissioned ball-nogues studio to create a site-specific, architectural installation as part of their efroymson pavilion installation series. entitled ‘gravity’s loom’, the immersive project explores the space and structure of the pavilion’s entrance. the show will open september 3, 2010. designboom visited the LA studio during the preparations.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art ball and nogues joined forces in 2005, working collaboratively with designers, engineers, and consultants image © designboom

 

 

 

through their work, benjamin ball (b. 1968, waterloo, iowa) and gaston nogues (b. 1968, buenos aires, argentina) explore the intersection of digital methods with physical reality. ball nogues, is an LA-based collaborative design and fabrication studio that produces architecture, art and design products. the studio just finished a permanent public commission for santa monica, and is currently working on a few more in san francisco and los angeles; a wildlife observation building in saugerties, new york; and installations at the los angeles county museum of art, and several other galleries.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art ball and nogues’ studio in los angeles image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art ‘gravity’s loom‘ image © designboom

 

 

 

‘gravity’s loom’, part of the artists’ suspensions series, will be composed of an array of vibrantly colored hanging strings that span the entire pavilion and generate the appearance of a softly spiraling gossamer surface. this surface will twist, contort, and spiral downward through the atrium, transforming the architectural space and re-choreographing the flow of visitors to encourage new interactions with the museum. each string in the installation will hang from two points on the oval perimeter of the pavilion, forming curves that respond to the distinctive features of the IMA – indianapolis museum of art building.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art production of ‘gravity’s loom’ image © designboom

 

 

 

in developing gravity’s loom, ball-nogues has allowed the properties and limitations of a given material – in this case, string – guide their work. when the array of strings is hung in the efroymson family entrance pavilion, it will take the shape of an inverted dome through which a patterned color composition will be revealed that represents the artists’ take on baroque embellishment. ball and nogues understand the oval shape of the IMA’s pavilion to be analogous to the dome of classical baroque architecture, which historically incorporated surface decoration to blur the distinction between what is architectural, sculptural, and pictorial.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art detail image © designboom

 

 

 

the strings of gravity’s loom are painted to represent the imagined plan for a traditional baroque ceiling pattern—a three dimensional volume that blurs into billows of color and then snap into a focused geometry, depending on the viewer’s vantage point.

 

ball-nogues likens their method of fabrication to a 21st century application of – ikat -, an indonesian term for the ancient textile process of resist dye.a labor intensive method, ikat involves the application of vibrant colors to precise locations on individual yarns that, when woven, form a blurry edged pattern. similarly, ball-nogues color the strings individually in precise locations by using four computer-controlled airbrushes that are part of a programmable machine of their own design.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art model making image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art gaston nogues, benjamin ball and ‘insta-llator’ image © designboom

 

 

 

gaston nogues shows designboom how they apply colors to the cotton strings with the help of the ‘insta-llator’. the ‘insta-llator’ consists of four computer-controlled airbrushes that are part of a programmable machine of their own design.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art the ‘instal-lator’ image © designboom

 

 

 

the machine will paint over 30 miles of string and cut it to prescribed lengths determined by an integrated software system. the shape of the thousands of hanging strings will be computed with a mathematical formula, however the piece will be installed at the museum by human hands.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art up close look at the four computer-controlled air brushes image © designboom

 

 

 

ball-nogues’ installation will be a remarkable convergence of digital computation, machine fabrication, and hand craft.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art up close look at the four computer-controlled air brushes image © designboom

 

 

 

the production process of ‘gravity’ is similar to the ‘feathered edge’ installation, which was on view july 26–november 15, 2009 at moca pacific design center. over 21 miles of colored strings configured in catenary curves span the gallery space to form a dynamic environment.

 

making of the ‘feathered edge’video courtesy of MOCA

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art birgit lohmann, designboom’s editor-in-chief talks to benjamin ball image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art half-finished ‘globs’ inside the studio image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art starting point are mickey balloons image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art moulds for a papier mache form image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art an idea for a new lamp – ‘glob’ image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art crafty – in studio art image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art a view into the studio image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art experimentation with paper pulb image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art organic herbs growing on the paper pulp sculpture image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art ‘the craddle’ image © designboom

 

 

 

the craddle is the most recent work of ball and nogues – a public installation in santa monica see our article

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art drawings image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art the workshop and tools image © designboom

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art ‘screen’ model of a new project for the 10th mission teen center, san francisco image © designboom

 

 

 

‘screen’ model of a new project for 10th mission teen center, san francisco. screen is an opportunity to blend the imagery of the universal symbol of the human hand with techniques borrowed from glass jewelry making. ball and nogues use the hand image to evoke hard work, cooperation, coexistence, and tolerance. to achieve this they will call on their experience with cutting edge digital design and fabrication technologies. it is their aim to make a work that is inspiring to teens – a composition through the use of color and intricacy can also be appreciated by the casual passersby from the sidewalk.

ball nogues: gravity at indianapolis museum of art image © designboom

 

 

 

ball and nogues met as students at southern california institute of architecture (sci-arc), los angeles, and are former employees of architect frank gehry at gehry partners. ball earned his bachelor of architecture at sci-arc in 1994 and worked at gehry partners while completing his degree.  after graduating, ball went on to work as a set and production designer and art director for films, music videos, and commercials. nogues earned his bachelor of architecture from sci-arc in 1993, and moved directly from school into a position in product design and production at gehry partners. the partners have taught in the graduate architecture programs at the southern california institute of architecture; the university of california, los angeles, and the university of southern california.

  • sorry, yes we forgot to open the comments area.

    anita/designboom says:
  • cool

    really says:
  • Is the piece in San Francisco installed?
    Any images available?

    fer says:
  • Fer – I randomly passed by the SF piece about an hour after reading this. It’s on 10th around Howard (or was it Mission?) on the North Eastern side of the street and visible from the sidewalk.

    JG says:

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