Culver Current

Lead Producer

Steel, LED Panels, Corian, Computer, Video
December 2019 - December 2020

Culver Current is a groundbreaking digital fountain sculpture displaying a never-before-seen combination of data generated videos and custom-fabricated Corian. Culver Current offers a fresh and mesmerizing way to understand the social landscape of Culver City as it exists via the virtual online community. This piece was commissioned by Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the city’s Art in Public Places innitiative.

Rather than physical water, the fountain will source its flow from digital activity within the city’s geographic borders, allowing for a reflection of the city’s otherwise intangible community. Each new day the people of Culver City are the substance and energy for the fountain. It allows viewers and participants alike to influence digital droplets (which make up the fountain) by tagging #CulverCurrent or #CulverCity in posts on social media including Instagram and Twitter, constantly revitalizing an ever-evolving communal current.

Culver Current is comprised of a 9-foot tall cylindrical steel frame with 494 LED panels inside a custom thermoformed Corian® shell. Video content illumines the Corian® surface from within, diffusing along ripples carved into the surface. Culver Current’s fountain uses no actual water. Instead, a computer captures digital activity within the city’s geographic borders and feeds that back into the fountain. In the morning, the fountain’s movement will be shallow and mellow, but as the day progresses, the fountain will grow and visually roar with online activity that is not visible or typically represented in physical space. A central fountain in Culver City for people to congregate and gather in celebration of art and community.

“This sculpture is a reflection of the past, a moment in the present, and a discussion of the future” said Mohler, who investigates connectivity and audience participation through unconventional space and immersive art.

I worked as Lead Producer alongside Lead Artist Nate Mohler since the inception of the project to bring the creative vision to life. Irina Panasyuk of IVP Public Art facilitated artist selection and public outreach. A dedicated team of professionals, Ruben Jimenez of Eastside LED and welder Eric Vrymoed, worked with us to execute the creative vision. Jackson Kurtz Programed the interactive elements in Python and Unity. Mario Romano of the design engineering studio M.R. Walls oversaw the fabrication of the Corian® shell and created the custom-cut surface based on natural lines found in the ripples of water and sand.