In an extraordinary new building by Zaha Hadid in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KAPSARC serves as an independent centre for energy research. For a 2-storey digital canvas in the atrium, FIELD were invited to express KAPSARC’s purpose and vision in artistic metaphors – exploring Collaboration, Nature and Exploration as core themes.
A permanent installation of three ever-changing generative artworks, designed as metaphors for the spirit of scientific research: The persistence to keep exploring. The fascination for complexity. And the realisation how fragile and beautiful our planet is.
A Thousand Minds
The “Collaboration” piece renders an infinite sequence of unique spark moments as colourful, highly complex network visualisations. Bringing to life the neural activity of open-source brain scan data from the Human Connectome Project, the piece represents both the intertwined network and the complexity of human interaction.
From the perspective of a satellite orbiting Earth, Solar Sailor observes an infinite succession of sunrises and sunsets, achieved through a physical real-time simulation of light fraction in the Earth’s atmosphere. The piece for “Nature” is a reminder of the “big picture”, and the fact that all research into cleaner energy is ultimately an attempt to prolong our time on this planet.
The piece for “Exploration” is an infinite journey through generative caves, from abstracted ice caves to brightly coloured desert caves, infinitely travelling deeper into unknown territories. Lead by a guiding light through subterranean caverns and aquamarine grottos, the artwork represents the uncharted academic landscape being explored by researchers at KAPSARC, and the persistence to keep going deeper that researchers of all disciplines have in common.
Opposite to the main art installation, FIELD created a dynamic information display, which aggregates content from a variety of news and social media sources, as well as live video, into a constantly evolving, multi-language information point for guests. The content can be constantly monitored, managed and updated by staff using a bespoke iPad application and CMS.
In addition to the creative work, FIELD was in charge of exploring the technology to make everything work smoothly, and throughout the three years that it took to complete the project, it collaborated directly with the AV suppliers to design and implement the entire bespoke hardware solution.
FIELD developed a high-precision, low-level multi-screens synchronisation and render-node management framework that allowed them to keep in synch the twenty computers needed for rendering a 160 mega pixels video at 60 frames per second (80 times HD resolution), ten hours a day, everyday, with almost no human intervention.
King Abdullah Petroleum Science and Research Centre