RainCloud is a floating sculptural light installation in the form of a cloud. This simulated cloud floats 18 feet from the ground in an outdoor environment, and is illuminated from within using RGB LED lights. At night, RainCloud glows brilliantly using artificial light. During the day, it shimmers equally brilliantly due to the reflective, iridescent qualities of its skin. In addition, LED strands hang from the bottom of the cloud which blink in sequence to create the illusion of falling rain.
Conceptually, RainCloud is designed to function on many levels. It is at once both an augmented, high-tech marvel, as well as a symbol of the natural environment; a reminder of the simple beauty found in our atmosphere and the never-ending cycle of water between ground and sky. It also works as a “thought bubble” or “brainstorm”, hovering over the Independent’s Day Festival, collecting and sharing what Columbus creates when people come together. During the day, it provides a place of shade where people can connect, relax, sit, talk, laugh as a well as a place for performance and workshops. Finally, the RainCloud becomes a gathering place a landmark that is visible from anywhere at the festival.
During daylight hours, RainCloud shimmers with color due to the iridescent quality of it’s outer shell. The changing angle of sunlight throughout the day subtly changing the colors it reflects. Small reflective discs attached to the LED strands glint in the sunlight as they rotate in the breeze creating the illusion of raining light using sunlight alone.
Coming together to create this project is a group of artists and creators with a wide range of experience in public art, interactive installation, engineering, science, and city planning. This group has assembled as representatives of OBLSK Interactive, a creative agency started by Eve Warnock and Pelham Johnston in Columbus, Ohio which specializes in projection and light based installations and interactive multi-sensory art experiences. In its first year OBLSK has been busy creating public installations including Pulse, a sculptural projection installation for the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Patron Party at the Columbus Arts Festival 2016, PLAY BIG, a 40 foot projection and lighting installation on the Command Center at the Independents Day Festival, and Big Beer, a 25 foot projection installation on the beer silo at the Land Grant’s Brewery, turning it into a giant animated beer can.
Also on the team is software developer and coding wizard Marque Reavely, who brings his extensive knowledge and experience building the back end of interactive user interfaces to bring RainCloud to life as a reactive light sculpture that can respond to it’s environment and react to the touch of the festival goers fingertips.
Heidi Pilgrim Kambitsch’s Openheartcreatures will be collaborating with OBLSK on a Raindance Performance where her puppets and OBLSK’s Raincloud will unite to move and groove the audience into making the RainCloud Rain.