On December 19, 2019, the electronic technical wonder that is the brainchild of artist Nate Mohler, was fired up and delighted viewers for the first time. That delight continues every single evening from dusk to midnight in front of the main entrance to City Hall (9770 Culver Boulevard) in the Dale Jones Courtyard, where the City of Culver City commissioned media artist Nate Mohler to create a dynamic digital sculpture. This new temporary artwork is on display through 2020.
“Culver City has a long proud tradition of supporting the arts. As we celebrate 30+ years of our Art in Public Places Program, we’re excited to bring this innovative, digital light sculpture to City Hall for Culver City residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the winter months. Commissioned by the City through our Cultural Trust Fund, we hope this artwork will inspire, entertain and enlighten the entire community,” says Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.
Culver Current defines several values: the current time, water current, and electrical current. It is also reflective of the city’s transformation into a forward-looking creative center. The artist’s inspiration for this sculpture was the idea of the fountain as a public gathering place, as he reimagined the inactive water fountain over which the custom thermoformed Corian® shell sits. The 9-foot tall steel frame houses 494 LED panels that illumine the shell from within. A computer (commandeered by Mohler’s smart phone) captures digital activity within the city’s geographical borders and feeds that back into the “fountain.”
“It has been seven years since the last visual temporary art project was commissioned by the City. It is fitting then, that Culver Current’s unique design will illuminate community activity and connectivity as it happens,” says Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin, Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission.
Nate Mohler is an emerging media artist who works with technology as a paint brush to build fresh and avant-garde experiences through digital art. A 2019 UCLA graduate with a B.A. in Design | Media Arts, he met media artist Refik Anadol in his sophomore year who became a mentor and guide. Mohler assisted in some of the largest projects Anadol has completed, including projection mapping of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
“Traditional fountains are feats of engineering and art, capturing the force of nature and reflecting the veins of life within a city. I wanted to reimagine what a modern fountain would look like today, with 2019 traditions and technologies. This sculpture is a reflection of the past, a moment in the present, and a discussion of the future,” says artist Nate Mohler.
Artist: Nate Mohler
Jacob Fishman, Lead Producer
Ruben Jimenez, LED/Power Specialist
Mario Romano, Corian Fabrication
Eric Vrymoed, Steel Fabrication
Phil Geronilla, Carlo Gomez, Andrew Hulin, Jackson Kurtz, and Richard Lewis.
You can listen to specially composed sound accompaniment for this artwork by Luke Mombrea here:
Art Consultant: Irina Panasyuk
Commissioned in conjunction with the Art in Public Places Program