I was checking out the new plantings at the Chihuly Exhibit at Seattle Center to see how they made it through the hot, dry summer (very well, thank you, they look great....) and stumbled upon artist Dan Corson's very cool, interactive, solar powered, gigantically tall flower installation that sings to you and lights up at night.
A joint effort of the Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Light's green up program, the flowers are near the base of the Space Needle, next to the Chihuly Exhibit. The giant solar flowers, stretching their petals toward the needle, absorb the sun's energy and reflect it back at night with patterned LED lighting. Each flower is topped with 46 voltaic cells to harvest sunlight.
It's so fun to stroll through a grove of such lofty flowers, let alone have them play music to you. Walk by the 40 foot high flowers and they react to you as well as to sunlight - motion sensors set off a chorus of harmonic tones. Each flower emits its own unique sounds. So you get a sonic landscape as well as a Dr. Seussian one, for the tall, skinny flowers have striped stems and decidedly comic flower petals. I know this is a science exhibit, but it's also just great public art for how it catches your attention, intrigues, and is so weirdly beautiful.
Are the flowers worshipping the Space Needle??
Dan Corson's giant flowers reflected in the glass of the Pacific Science Center