+ 28’ long x 14’ wide x 25’ high
+ Installed at the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge - Westchester terminus, Tarrytown, New York
+ Permanent public art commissioned by the New York State Thruway Authority and ArtsWestchester
Engineering: Rachel Tyler, Matthew Daw + Shahab Torabian of SGH
Fabrication: Elemental Metalworks
Installation: Sultz / NYSTA
Lighting Design + Programming: ARUP - Xena Petkanas and Christoph Gisel
Thanks to Kathleen Reckling, Matthew Rao, George Paschalis
Composed of 12 illuminated steel arches, CURRENT is a dynamic sculpture that celebrates transformation. Referencing the ebb and flow of river currents, currents of light, and currents of time, the sculpture is under continual transformation.
During the daytime, the sculpture responds to the sunlight cast upon it. The diurnal movements of the sun are seen through the shadows the sculpture draws on the adjacent ground, and through ever-changing pink and yellow refractions of sunlight that pass through the iridescent dichroic glass fins perched on the apex of each arch.
In the evening, CURRENT creates a shared spatial experience through the light animations that respond to movements of passers-by. The sculpture is self-illuminating with integrated LEDs that form lines of white light that shimmer across the array of arches. Similar to a clock’s chime, CURRENT plays a unique, short light animation upon each new hour. Here, CURRENT activates not only its own architectural form, but the entire space around it.
CURRENT literally rises from the structure of the old Tappan Zee bridge; here, reclaimed steel has been used to create the formwork to pour the concrete foundation. These steel plates remain in place at the base of the sculpture as cladding for the foundation. Steel segments from the Tappan Zee bridge are also reused and integrated into CURRENT as custom mullions that secure the dichroic glass fins to the arches. These reclaimed Tappan Zee bridge steel plates remain as an artifact of the Tappan Zee bridge; a preserved memory of the industrial past as we move towards the future. Embodying movement, progression, connection and change CURRENT has become a new community hub and experience for the Westchester landing.Technical details (courtesy of Arup):
The sculpture’s lighting system consists of 24 runs of fully encapsulated direct mains voltage powered LED strips, connected to a DMX controlled 120V dimming rack, controlled by a cue-based lighting processor, and triggered by two motion sensors at either side of the art piece. The effects were programmed using ETC theatrical programming software, and subsequently recorded onto the lighting processor.
When either motion sensor is activated, one of sixteen unique lighting effects is randomly triggered. To add complexity and unpredictability, up to three effects can be layered simultaneously, if multiple triggers occur. Some effects are directional, and can only be triggered by one of the two motion sensors, increasing the perception that the effect is connected to the movements of passersby. The sculpture lighting subtly pulses at a low level between effect triggers.