BLOOM:
Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg

Bloom is an internet-based Earthwork that transforms cold, hard data into an experience of playfulness and unpredictability. A seismograph measures the Hayward Fault’s movements and transmits this information by way of the Internet. With special permission from the UC Berkeley Seismological Lab, these data sets are captured and run through a computer program designed by the artists. The result is a field of colorful, circular blooms that changes constantly in response to the live movements of the Earth.

With Bloom, the artists explore the contrast between virtual and natural environments. The project references Kenneth Noland (1924-2010) and other Color Field painters of the 1960s.

Special thanks to Richard Allen, Doug Neuhouser, and Peggy Hellweg of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory for the live data feed from the Hayward Fault seismometer station and to David Nachum, Vijay Vasudevan, Woj Matusek for work on earlier versions, and to Anne Wagner for insights.

Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg, BLOOM, 2013, Custom software with live data feed. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. Museum purchase with funds provided by deaccessioning.

Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg, BLOOM (detail), 2013. Custom software with live data feed, size variable. Courtesy of the Artists. Commissioned by the Nevada Museum of Art.