Previously on View at Waterfront Park
2019: Mirror Mirror
A Sound-Responsive Installation by SOFTlab
Mirror Mirror by SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos, was a site-specific, temporary installation on view through November 2019. The project aimed to encourage visitors to experience art and explore and enjoy the new public plaza and civic space.
The artwork was 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 was 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 referenced 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 visually blended the waterfront, the fabric of Old Town, and the activity of pedestrians in the new park.
Images by Alan Tansey.
This project was the inaugural work for the Site See: New Views in Old Town public art series. Alexandria's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, through the Division of Arts and Culture, 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.
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.