V 24 / 7 / 365

pittsburgh, pennsylvania

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V24/7/365 is an artist/architect collaboration (with sound artist Jeremy Boyle) for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Phase II public art competition for Strawberry Way, a much used three-block long downtown pedestrian thoroughfare, for which the PDP has been implementing a multi-year, multi-phase initiative. studio d'ARC and Jeremy Boyle won this competition in January 2005; installation was completed in the fall.

Although the competition brief called for proposals addressing the theme of light (as Phase I installations have), our proposal responded to the found conditions along the two-block location determined by the PDP with a different understanding of light.

The primary elements that define the alley between William Penn Way and Grant Street are natural light, vertical space, and the horizontal ground plane of the pedestrian passage, especially the block bounded by the AT&T Building, Reed Smith Building, and the First Lutheran Church. Observing the way light and shadow play on the surface of the AT&T Building from the First Lutheran's spire so that one can understand the time of day and time of year, we realized the relationship of sunlight and shadow is quite different for the pedestrian throughout the year. From this, we developed the idea of collecting sunlight from this vertical space far from the reach of the pedestrians below and transforming this energy into a new form and new experience in the physical space of pasage in Strawberry Way that would inform the passersby of their location within the day and the seasons and accompany them on their daily commutes.

Via a solar panel on the AT&T Building, the collected light is transformed into energy, which powers a computer generated, loose musical translation of a well known composition. Antonio Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" was selected for its direct connection to time and season as well as its familiarity. The audio signal then travels to four speakers positioned along Strawberry Way. The music shifts slowly throughout the day and, like the Vivaldi piece from which it is based, evolves with the changing seasons, giving a unique musical description to both the time of day and time of year in this 365-day musical composition.