The Central Library Video Wall is a 28-foot video screen located in the library’s Tom Bradley Wing. A component of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Digital Commons, the video wall is a space for storytelling—about our community, our institution, and our world. Video Wall content is intended to delight, inform and educate library visitors with compelling visual stories.
The Video Wall features an ongoing series of generative digital animations which draw inspiration from the art and architecture of Central Library, especially the decorative ceiling patterns painted by Julian Garnsey. These patterns take inspiration from a variety of cultural ornamentation, sharing in part the influences of the architecture. Most notably: Assyrian, Gothic Revival, Celtic, Egyptian, and Spanish Colonial Revival. This process lead to the creation of a visual language that is unique to the Library, and is also reflective of typical California design—constantly reinventing its exuberant history with a mixture of connections to credible sources.
There are roughly 6 or 7 unique patterned rooms in the Library—each with their own color palette, shapes, and compositions. The generative pattern system is organized as a series based on these various rooms—freeing the ornament from the bounds of ceiling decoration and reintroducing it as dynamic digital content. The final result is a piece that illustrates a systematic approach to decoration, placemaking, and interior design—both new and old. Whimsical and mechanical. Decoratively abstract, but also deeply rooted in a relevant historical concept.
Watch the video below to learn more about the creative process that went into the animations:
In addition to original content, the video wall features original art, films, and animation. Current selections include works by the following artists:
Andreas Fischer is a multimedia visual artist working with software, sculpture and installation. He focuses on the physical manifestation of aleatoric processes and data to produce graphic and spatial compositions that blur the line between the virtual and real. Fischer received his MA from the Berlin University of the Arts in 2008. He is a recipient of the DAAD Scholarship, using it to study at ESDI in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006.
Schwarm is a processing application that uses a swarm of particles to gradually create an abstract composition from photographs. The drawing agents behave according to a set of rules, but have a degree of autonomy. Each time the software is run it produces an infinite sequence of unique images.
Dan Chen is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. A graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, his work has garnered awards and has been selected to play at major festivals. His films explore dysfunctional relationships, nostalgia and everyday heroism.
His film Massive explores our presence on Earth in a way that’s both playful and majestic while also depicting a story of humanity’s growth. It is also a celebration of the diverse characters and landscapes of Los Angeles. The film uses forced perspective and limited computer effects to make ordinary people tower over modern landscapes.
Sabrina Ratté lives and works between Montreal and Paris. After a BFA and MFA in Film Production at Concordia University in Montreal, she focused mainly on video as a medium. Her interest in early video art led her to work with analog technologies such as video synthesizers and video feedback. Later on, she integrated 3D animation to her process, which allowed for more complex imageries while creating a timeless aesthetic. From utopian architecture to painterly textures, she investigates the fine line between the virtual and the physical realm. Ratté has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of the Moving Image, International Digital Arts Biennale-Blan, Young Project Gallery, and is represented by the Larry Maffei Gallery in Paris.
Radiances is a series of paintings in motion. Through a combination of animated 3D, video synthesis and digital manipulations, painterly textures and organic forms emerge to create animated landscapes leaning towards abstraction.
Pascual Sisto uses his videos, sculptures, and installations to explore forms of representation through the use of mathematical structures, patterns, and digital interventions. Sisto has been commissioned by Thom Mayne for Morphosis: Continuities of the Incomplete at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Cultural A airs Department for the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Sisto received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and his MFA from UCLA.
In Aucuba Expanded, the golden dust pattern of a household plant becomes the motif for an immersive video art experience.
Christy Lee Rogers is a visual artist from Kailua, Hawaii. Her obsession with water as a medium for breaking the conventions of contemporary photography has led to her work being compared to Baroque painting masters like Caravaggio. Boisterous in color and complexity, Rogers applies her cunning technique to a barrage of bodies submerged in water during the night, and creates her effects using the refraction of light. Through a fragile process of experimentation, she builds elaborate scenes of coalesced colors and entangled bodies that exalt the human character as one of vigor and warmth, while also capturing the beauty and vulnerability of the tragic experience that is the human condition. Rogers’ works have been exhibited globally from Paris, London, Italy, Mexico City to Shanghai, Sao Paulo, South Africa, Los Angeles and more, and are held in collections around the world.
A Conversation With Angels is an underwater installation film which uses water to pose questions about our existence and the fragile nature of mankind, taking us into a dreamscape of aquatic expressions of movement set against light and dark contrasts of nighttime pools of water. For Christy, water is life. It is alive. It’s life-giving. Nurturing. Rejuvenating. And without it we could not survive.
Tom Carroll has created, researched and written 27 engaging web episodes on the history of LA and surrounding areas. He tells the stories of Los Angeles one landmark at a time, guiding us through the evolution of our city and the distinct features and background that makes it truly unique.
41 Payphones in Los Angeles is part of a series titled Visible Statements, partly inspired by works by Ed Ruscha and William Eggleston. This is documentation of Los Angeles under an arbitrary constraint—shadows, colors, people, etc. Visible Statements seeks to engage with the city in a basic way—on foot, with eyes and ears open.