NOBLE & WEBSTER: ELECTRIC FOUNTAIN
- Date: February 27 - April 05, 2008
- Sponsor: Art Production Fund
- Location: Rockefeller Plaza New York
- Artists: Tim Noble & Sue Webster
Electric Fountain is a spectacular public artwork by acclaimed British artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Inspired by the Plaza at Rockefeller Center, this 3-D light sculpture is in the form of a monumental fountain measuring 35’ in height and 30’ in diameter. The design and sequencing of the work, fabricated from 3,390 LED bulbs and 527 meters of neon tubing, replicates the movement of water, creating a hypnotic experience for viewers.
Electric Fountain represents Noble & Webster’s modern take on the world’s oldest form of public art, the fountain. It simultaneously references iconic pop culture symbols, such as marquee signs in Las Vegas and Times Square, and historical fountains built in civic spaces, such as Bernini's Triton Fountain. A monument for the 21st century, Electric Fountain is a celebration of the spectacle, excess, beauty, and desire of contemporary culture and a provocative comment on the nature of consumer society, a theme often present in Noble & Webster’s work.
“The project mimics the tradition of a fountain as a monument found in public squares around the world, but its magic lies in the emulation of light where water should be,” said artist Sue Webster. “During daylight hours the viewer will really get a sense of Electric Fountain's architectural and sculptural qualities as the lights react with the changing moods of New York City’s daily weather conditions. As nighttime falls, the sculptural form will slowly disappear into darkness leaving only the illusion of bright cascading water in its wake.”
For the first time, Noble & Webster are using Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) in their work, creating a brighter appearance while using less energy. The LEDs represent the future of light technology and Electric Fountain marks the beginning of the artists’ use of new material in their projects with a commitment to the environment.
Tim Noble & Sue Webster (b. 1966, 1967 respectively) are artists based in England, associated with the post-Young British Artists generation. Finding inspiration in pop culture, advertising and punk influences, Noble & Webster have challenged the conventional career path of the artist, utilizing different media – including electric lights and garbage - to tease out new relations between spectacle, conceptual gravity, and pure entertainment. Their work was included in the exhibition Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art at the Royal Academy in 2000, as well as the opening show of the Saatchi Gallery in County Hall. They have exhibited in numerous group exhibitions internationally and have had solo shows at PS1/MOMA, New York (2003), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2004) and Centro de Arte Contemporanea de Malaga (CAC), Spain (2005). The Freud Museum, London (2006). Polymorphous Perverse, an exhibition of recent work first presented at The Freud Museum will be presented by Deitch Projects, NY from March 1-29
Tishman Speyer: Tishman Speyer is the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, which is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including large-scale installations of public art by world-renowned artists including Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Jonathan Borofsky. Tishman Speyer has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative utilization of public art in its signature commercial properties, which include Rockefeller Center and The Chrysler Building.
Lexus: As a company that has pushed the boundaries into the unexpected within the automotive category, Lexus supports those who are similarly forward thinking within their own categories. Lexus saw the Electric Fountain as an opportunity to support visionaries, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, in their most innovative exploration of modern design.
Art Production Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen; Director of Operations: Casey Fremont. For more information please visit: www.artproductionfund.org
Electric Fountain was made possible by: Co-Producer: Jeffrey Deitch, Project Advisor: Mark Fletcher, Design Consultation & Fabrication: Michael Hammers Studios, Design Consultant: Sue Shepard. Creative Link for the Arts and Kanbar Charitable Trust. Design partner: Pandiscio Co.Download PDF