The City of Culver City has commissioned media artist Nate Mohler to create a dynamic temporary artwork for the Dale Jones City Hall Courtyard. Culver Current is a groundbreaking digital fountain sculpture displaying a never-before-seen combination of projected videos and custom-sculpted Corian®. This visually stunning interactive fountain will be unveiled at 5:00 PM on December 19th. Culver Current offers a fresh and mesmerizing way to understand the social landscape of Culver City as it exists via the virtual online community. Rather than physical water, the fountain will source its flow from digital activity within the city’s geographic borders, allowing for a reflection of the city’s otherwise intangible community. Each new day the people of Culver City are the substance and energy for the fountain. It allows viewers and participants alike to influence digital droplets (which make up the fountain) by tagging #CulverCurrent or #CulverCity in posts on social media including Instagram and Twitter, constantly revitalizing an ever-evolving communal current.
Culver Current is comprised of a 9-foot tall cylindrical steel frame with 494 LED panels inside a custom thermoformed Corian® shell. Projected video illumines the Corian® surface from within, diffusing along ripples cut into the surface. Culver Current’s fountain uses no actual water. Instead, a computer captures digital activity within the city’s geographic borders and feeds that back into the fountain. In the morning, the fountain’s movement will be shallow and mellow, but as the day progresses, the fountain will grow and visually roar with online activity that is not visible or typically represented in physical space. A central fountain in Culver City for people to congregate and gather in celebration of art and community.
“This sculpture is a reflection of the past, a moment in the present, and a discussion of the future” said Mohler, who investigates connectivity and audience participation through unconventional space and immersive art. Having grown up near Culver City, Mohler wanted to mirror the Culver City community and tap into the inspiration the city gave him professionally.
The City of Culver City commissioned the project, with support from its Cultural Affairs Commission and City Council. Irina Panasyuk of IVP Public Art facilitated artist selection, project coordination, and public outreach. A dedicated team of professionals, including Jacob Fishman, Ruben Jimenez of Eastside LED and welder Eric Vrymoed, worked with Mohler on the project since its inception. Jackson Kurtz Programed the Interactive elements in Python and Unity. Mario Romano of the design engineering studio M.R. Walls oversaw the fabrication of the Corian® shell and created the custom-cut surface based on natural lines found in the ripples of water and sand.
The City of Culver City commissioned media artist Nate Mohler to create a dynamic artwork for Culver City City Hall Courtyard. Culver Current is made with 1,011,712 pixels, 494 LED panels, 82 power supplies, 27 receiving cards, stands on a 9-foot steel frame, and is wrapped in 8 custom textured and thermoformed sheets of Corian.