undercurrent, a rebar rod art installation

CLB Architects drops a luminous augmented reality installation in Jackson Hole

CLB Architects is no stranger to public art installations in Jackson, Wyoming; take its mutable Town Enclosure from 2019, for example. This year, the firm has returned with Undercurrent, an eclectic collection of rods for the monthlong Glownights 2020/21 public art exhibition.

This is the third iteration of Glownights, which aims to bring illuminating installations to Teton Village, at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the town of Jackson during the winter solstice and beyond to entice residents outdoors in the colder months (noticing a pattern yet?). This year, the light-centric displays were all themed around “ENERGY;” where it comes from, how it’s used, where it goes, and how it can be conserved or reduced.

In Undercurrent, CLB has carved out an occupiable space inside a forest of swaying rebar dipped in reflective paint, ensuring illumination by passive light all night long. True to the installation’s name, the rods making up Undercurrent follow the electric cables buried below, creating an above-ground visualization of normally invisible utility lines.

For The Sun from Bland Hoke, installed at the Teton County Library, Hoke has set up a miniature sun; or, more accurately, a conception of a Dyson sphere, a spaceborne megastructure designed to capture all of the energy put out by a star.

At the Center for the Arts Lawn, artist Geoffrey Hicks has installed Tall Grasses, a swaying, rod-based installation similar to, and unique from, Undercurrent. Hicks’s “grass” moves with the wind, the LEDs embedded in each rod changing color and pattern with the structure’s movement and the changes in temperature.

All of the Glownights pieces have an augmented reality component as well, as visitors armed with the Hoverlay App can use their phones to view messages about energy conservation from Energy Conservation Works enmeshed in the real-world art.

Glownights 2020/21 launched on December 18, 2020, and runs through this week (January 25, 2021, at the time of writing).