Site See: New Views in Old Town
An annual series of temporary Public-Art installations at Waterfront PARK
The exhibition series aims to attract visitors to the new park area on Alexandria's waterfront, foster interaction with contemporary art in a historic location, and enrich the experience of Alexandria's waterfront. It also showcases Alexandria’s Public Art Program through innovative, exciting, high-quality contemporary art at this key riverfront location.
Currently on View
A Sound-Responsive Installation by SOFTlab
Mirror Mirror by SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos, is a site-specific, temporary installation on view through November 2019. The project aims to encourage visitors to experience art and explore and enjoy the new public plaza and civic space.
The artwork is programmed to respond to sound with light, allowing visitors to interact with the artwork and affect its appearance using their voices and bodies. The mirrored exterior reflects the urban environment, the river, and visitors themselves but transforms from reflective to transparent when activated. The interior’s surface is tinted with full spectrum color. When illuminated, the interior panels remain mirrored, creating an infinite, colorful reflection that Szivos compares to “a forest of light.”
See visitor pictures and share your own via #mirrormirroralx.
The materials and interactive nature of the artwork reference the Fresnel lens used at Alexandria’s historic Jones Point Lighthouse. It was the most advanced lens technology of the 1800s and used a series of prisms to concentrate the light source and direct it into a narrow horizontal beam that was projected outward. As a lighthouse connects land to water, Mirror Mirror will visually blend the waterfront, the fabric of Old Town, and the activity of pedestrians in the new park.
Images by Alan Tansey.
This project is the inaugural work for the Office of the Arts’ Site See: New Views in Old Town public art series. The Office of the Arts seeks to amplify Alexandria’s reputation as an arts destination with world-class artwork that captures that public’s imagination. SOFTlab was selected for this project by a stakeholder Task Force and approved by the Commission for the Arts. Both groups also approved the design of the artwork. The Task Force will soon begin work on selecting the second artist for the series, whose work will be installed in 2020.
SOFTlab is a New York City-based design studio created by Michael Szivos shortly after receiving a graduate degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. The studio has since been involved in the design and production of projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture, to interactive design, to immersive digital video installations. Through the studio's unique blend of backgrounds as designers, artists, architects and educators they are able to approach every project from a fresh perspective to create rich spatial, graphic, interactive and visual experiences. By mixing research, creativity and technology with a strong desire to make working fun, SOFTlab attempts to create new and unique experiences.
Coming Up in 2020
Olalekan Jeyifous has been named the 2020 artist for Site See. He is currently in a research and exploration phase and will present a design in Fall 2019.
Based in Brooklyn, Jeyifous has spent more than a decade creating large-scale artwork for public spaces. He was recently commissioned, along with Amanda Williams, to create the forthcoming monument for Shirley Chisholm in Brooklyn. He previously created public art at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, Cleveland’s Public Square, and Starbucks’ flagship store in Chicago.
He received a bachelor’s of architecture from Cornell University. His work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. He received grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Brooklyn Arts Council. He’s completed artist residencies with the Headlands Center for the Arts, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program, and was a Wilder Green Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Learn more at vigilism.com.
About Alexandria's Office of the Arts
Public Art in Alexandria
To learn more about public art in Alexandria, you can review the City Council approved Public Art Implementation Plan & Policy, or learn more about other public art projects in Alexandria.