Thursday, July 31, 2008

Uarts Students Ask, "What is Love?"

The Love Park sculpture designed by artist Robert Indiana was first placed in the plaza near City Hall in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial celebration. Aside from being temporarily removed in 1978 and then permanently placed back at the site, the sculpture has gone virtually undisturbed. Until now that is.

Students from the University of the Arts in Center City, under the tutelage of Multimedia Director Chris Garvin, have created an installation within the base of the world famous sculpture. Their Multimedia program was established in 1997, and teaches students to make art using "many medias", which include iconic iconography and small text.

Garvin, with his iMac blue eyes shining brightly, stated, "Initially, the plan was to have this open space in front of the sculpture covered in sensors, you know... and various park go-ers could control the height and shape of the water in the fountain, depending on how fast and in what direction they moved their body. It would be like, a liquid extension of the human form, set in an urban and public domain."

The final installation went in a different direction, consisting of an I-River MP3 player connected to a set of JBL speakers within the silver shape that holds up the sculpture. Visitors to the park, using a USB cord, can upload songs from their personal music devices, if and only if the word "LOVE" is contained within the song's title or its lyrics.

The water within the fountain that serves as a backdrop to the installation has been dyed yellow as well. A Uarts senior was quick to point out that it is in fact dyed hexadecimal #FFFFOO. Currently, the only song uploaded and playing on an endless loop was "What is Love" by Haddaway.

The installation is officially on display until its stolen by the homeless..

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