The $5.3billion City Link is one of Perth’s landmark redevelopment initiatives, fueled by innovative architecture and public art to create and activate dynamic new public spaces.
Public art forms a key part of the City Link, and WA arts consultancy providers Artsource were engaged by Leighton Properties to facilitate the cultural and visual arts aspect of Kings Square and surrounding precinct. Five engaging public artworks have been installed at various locations, designed to connect and enhance the open spaces within the square while paying homage to the site’s cultural and topographical history.
French digital artist Pascal Dombis has collaborated with architect Gil Percal to bring a European perspective to Kings Square through one of these artworks, utilising digitally printed glass and LED lighting in ‘Irrational Geometrics’. Positioned on the main pedestrian thoroughfare of Wellington St, Irrational Geometrics is a highly technical exercise in pushing the limits of computer algorithms, and manufacturing tolerances for glass lamination.
Pascal Dombis is a renowned digital artist who has been using computers and algorithms for over twenty years to produce excessive repetition of simple processes. Noted for his excessive use of simple algorithmic rules, Dombis confronts the human viewer with ‘his/her’ own forms of primitive irrationality through this abuse of technological processes.
‘For ‘Irrational Geometrics’ the printed glass pattern is a proliferation of thousands of line-curve shapes, through the use of an organic growth algorithm which makes the line-curve proliferate endlessly and at various scales.’ Explains Dombis during his stay in Perth. ‘It employs randomness in color, so that each line-curve has a unique color, producing a vibrant visual effect as one walks past the piece. The line-curve connects with many elements in art and philosophy history. Importantly, it also echoes to the indigenous dreamtime concept, the fact that the Australian continent is crossed by a network of invisible path lines, lines that describe story about the creation the dreamtime.’
Gil Percal brings his architectural expertise to the project via the design of the stainless steel footing and angular placement. ‘Using a combination of digital technology and traditional glass manufacturing, Irrational Geometrics functions like a virtual energy flow engaging the viewers and visitors’ says Percal. ‘Three, 10mm thick, low iron glass panels are laminated to create a total thickness of 35mm. Standing upright, the 2800mm high panels have a distinct side profile, and create a fold/ unfold movement that delivers an idea of infinite shape and multiple viewpoints for the viewer.’
The 10mm glass is laminated using two SGP structural interlayers to provide exceptional durability for the exposed edges. The SGP also allows the edges to be polished, creating a complementary glass-like finish that is un-achievable on standard PVB interlayers. This refined edge-work finish is particularly impressive at night, when the glass is lit from beneath with powerful LEDs, creating a dynamic, glowing structure that appears to levitate above the footpath.
Having an experienced and hands on local manufacturer was crucial to the success of the project given the complexities in the printing and lamination process. ‘Despite the distance challenge of being 20,000 km away, it has been a real excitement to see Cooling Brothers jump into the project which is technically complex, understand it and propose complementary solutions to the initial proposal, in order to deliver the best artwork as possible. For us, such positive collaborative work will remain an unforgettable experience of our time in WA’ – Pascal Dombis & Gil Percal