Los Angeles-based studio Ball-Nogues has laced an atrium in the Indianapolis Museum of Art with 30 miles — yes, 30 miles! — of colored string. Gravity’s Loom is part of the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion installations and the next piece in the duo’s Suspension series, where they use strings draped into catenary curves to make 3D designs. A similar project, Feathered Edge, was up at L.A.’s MOCA last year.
The installation is based on the traditional Indonesian method of Ikat which creates textile patterns through the placement of specifically-dyed yarns.
For their creations, Ball-Nogues uses a computer-controlled airbrush system which they designed and built themselves to dye and cut the string.
The machine, which they cheekily named the “Instal-lator 1 with the Variable Information Atomizing Module,” places the correct length of color on each string then slices it in the proper length, resulting in hundreds of numbered spindles wrapped with multi-colored yarn.
Although the process of mathematically determining the length of each string, as well as how it will hang, is all done by computer, the strings themselves are then hung and draped by hand using a lift and members of their team.
As you can see from this fly-through, depending on where the viewer stands, the pattern shifts as different geometric forms reveal themselves.
For more on Ball-Nogues, check out this tapestry made of tables which was recently disassembled and the tables were given away.