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Happy Man-Made Rainbows!

The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms test run (2011) by Michael Jones McKean | Photo: Hesse McGraw

There is a certain delight to the unexpectedness of seeing rainbows. Case in point: Remember that viral video of the campers seeing the double rainbow? Over 35 million people watched that video! Rainbows can induce a certain je ne sais quoi in people. Installation artist Michael Jones McKean has tapped into the captivating charms of rainbows in his site-specific art project at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska called The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms.

The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms (2012) by Michael Jones McKean (via DesignTAXI)

According to the description of the work:

The artwork will solely utilize captured rainwater and will be powered with renewable sources. Leading up to the exhibition, extensive modifications to the Bemis Center’s five-story, repurposed industrial warehouse took place — creating a completely self-contained water harvesting and large-scale storage system. Throughout the project cycle, collected and recaptured stormwater will be filtered and stored in six above-ground, 10,500 gallon water tanks. Within the gallery, a custom designed 60-horsepower pump supplies pressurized water to nine nozzles mounted to the 20,000 square foot roof of the Bemis Center. At timed intervals, in the morning and early evening, a dense water-wall will be projected above the building in which a rainbow will emerge. Based on atmospheric conditions, vantage point, available sunlight and the changing angle of the sun in the sky, each rainbow will have a singular character and quality. Depending on the position of the sun, one could see the rainbow from a thousand feet away or seemingly touch it with your hand. (Source)

I find the project noteworthy in its ambition, its environmental ethos, and because rainbows draw out the best in people – that je ne sais quoi factor!

The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms (2012) by Michael Jones McKean (via DesignTAXI)

Learn more about the rainbow project at: therainbow.org and DesignTAXI

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