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projects: sun wind tide

Griffith Art Center
New London, CT

GENEROUS SUPPORT from Griffith Art Center and Connecticut Commission on the Arts


"The arts must be taken no less seriously than the sciences as modes of discovery, creation, and enlargement of knowledge."

— Nelson Goodman, Philosopher, Ways of Worldmaking


SUN WIND TIDE was an open call national competition inviting artists and scientists to propose public art projects for one of three sites in the City of New London, Connecticut. The call for proposals asked that the proposals use the theme SUN WIND TIDE to explore the concept of art through science and science through art. Entries were submitted from as far away as Denmark. The works were juried by a distinguished panel of four judges, Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter; Otto Piene, Internationally renowned artist working at art-science technology collaborations and Director Emertis of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studied; Robert Webb, Optical Physicist and senior scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and Wellman Laboratories; and Tim Prentice, internationally recognized Kinetic Artist.

The winning entry was EARTHTONE PIANO, a collaborative effort by (shown left to right) Jennifer Lesh, Writer; Sandra Bybee, Pianist and Composer; Glen McDuff, Electrical Engineer; Karen Godfried, Artist; and Carlos J. Bustamanter, DNA Physicist (not shown).

Sun Wind Tide

The work was conceived for outdoor installation on an ocean-side pier or boardwalk. It tracks signals from the earth and from people, resulting in a blend of sounds that are indistinguishable by source.

For the exhibition the team built a gallery variation of Earthtone Piano. Geophones, a standard geological survey technology, were located throughout the gallery collecting sounds of footsteps and Earth's acoustic vibrations of viewers. A combination of classical and contemporary tones were chosen for the 
selection of sixteen string PIANO.

Three Honorable Mentions were also exhibited:

Meryl Tatadash, Wind and Light Sculptor; 
Joe Welch, Environmental Engineer
 Wayne LaPierre, Fabricator. 
series of works that incorporate that make the
 wind visible through a large scale "wind catcher" 
installed to for ever changing reflected in the tidal 
water of the Long Island Sound. A sundial on the 
side of the New London Train Station illustrated 
sun as a universal time keeper.


Sun Wind TideSUPERMAINE by Stephen Soreff, Sculptor and Kendall Shaw, Chemist & Artist. SUPERMAINE is buoy-sculpture intended to sink, pause, then rise, singing, from the waves. Its form, matter, and rhythms are connected, but not identical. The form echoes New London's wharf pilings and its modern industry. It's the rhythm is a symbol of civic birth and re-birth. The whole, then invites New Londoners to participate in its expressive acct, forming and then reforming.


SEA TABLE by Chris Scala, Sculptor, Christopher Olstad, Maine Scientist, and Pete Sechler, Landscape Architect. SEA TABLE was proposed for the New London Pier. A sculptural table that would capture the sound of the tidal water as it collects living organisms as decorative accretions to the sculpture. Scala has collaborated with Olsad to create works of art that are placed in the sea and are electrically charged, collecting organic accretions, giving the work the appearance of an ancient artifact discovered in an underwater world.

Educational Offering

A four week program at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum Children's Art Program exploring the visualization of natural forces as sources in art.
 SUN explored through the building of sundials.
 WIND exploring shapes of sails and the making of kites.
 TIDE the building of a hydro toy via studies of Leonardo DiVinci. MOON/STARS the building of star watching tools and moon maps. 

SUN exploring cultural views on sun and time keeping & making of a sundial.
 WIND exploring the wind as sources of power and making a wind machine.
 TIDE using the sample of artist Chris Scala 
Students made sculptures of eyes, ears, noses, mouth and ears of wire, sand, and plaster to look like ancient underwater artifacts. When combined these pieces come together in a comprehensive whole. The work was exhibited during the New London Street Festival.

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sun wind tide