Several of Texas A&M University’s traditions are depicted in a new exhibit, “Memory Cloud,” which was formally revealed Friday at a ceremony in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries in the Memorial Student Center.
Memory Cloud, a permanent exhibit in the 12th Man Hall of the MSC, is described as “an ethereal constellation of light points in a sculptural cloud form.” This “cloud” is composed of LED nodes flickering on and off to create three-dimensional silhouettes that float across a matrix of light. The images used to create the silhouettes are drawn from archived footage of time-honored traditions such as the Corp of Cadets, the Aggie Band, Kyle Field traditions, and past Aggie graduations.
Mixed in with these archival images will be a real-time feed of everyday student life, portraying the moving silhouettes of students in the MSC. Organizers say this will allow students to become both a viewer and the subject of the art. They add that Memory Cloud “expresses the dynamic pulse of Texas A&M’s campus life, and connects the past with the absolute present.”
It was selected from three finalists in a sculpture competition commissioned by the University Art Galleries at Texas A&M. The competition began in 2011 and the winners – Shane Allbritton, Norman Lee, Joe Meppelink and Andrew Vrana, a 1993 Texas A&M graduate – were chosen in February 2012.
The sculpture is positioned in the MSC so that it’s constantly changing, undulating forms can be seen by students and visitors to the MSC as they travel up and down the surrounding stairways. As viewers move through the hall, the silhouettes seem to appear, then disappear. From certain angles, viewers see abstract patterns of pulsating lights; from other angles, they see moving, three-dimensional silhouettes.
“The piece will display images from a camera and will capture students walking by an area near the MSC’s Flag Room,” said Vrana, “and images from videos show Aggies in the past.”
“The installation will collapse time and space so that viewers won’t know if the images are live from the camera, or from videos from last year or decades ago,” added Lee.
To see the Memory Cloud in motion, go here.
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