Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is interested in creating advanced technology art that involves public participation. This large installation entitled Solar Equation is a simulation of the Sun, 100 million times smaller than the real thing! The sphere, commissioned by the Light in Winter Festival in Australia, is the largest spherical balloon in the world.
Using mathematical equations, Lozano-Hemmer developed a pattern of animations that are projected onto the sphere, and that never repeat. Through this simulation, the artist provides the public with a glimpse of the Sun's unpredictable and intense atmosphere. The public can interact with the installation and affect these animations via an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad application, creating various visual experiences. It's hard to imagine seeing such a large, burning star so gigantic and up-close!
The surprising spectacle encourages viewers to ponder many things, including symbolic interpretations of the Sun as well as environmental-based issues like the sustainability of solar power. Lozano-Hemmer states that, "While pertinent environmental questions of global warming, drought, or UV radiation might arise from the contemplation of this piece, Solar Equation intends to likewise evoke romantic environments of ephemerality, mystery, and paradox."