Murano glass: Fluxus, the soft surface of art

A world preview of the Fluxus: a wavering Murano glass sculpture created to adorn White Gallery – a new lifestyle store – took place on 2 December 2009. White Gallery is the first big lifestyle store …

A world preview of the Fluxus: a wavering Murano glass sculpture created to adorn White Gallery – a new lifestyle store – took place on 2 December 2009. White Gallery is the first big lifestyle store in Rome designed as a contemporary art gallery. It is a three-floor creative platform, in an overall area of 5,000 square metres where fashion, design, art, books, music, technology and food will express the innovations and the cultural contaminations of the contemporary way of life. Fluxus is the result of the cooperation between designer Karim Rashid who designed the Knit – an individual hand-made glass element – and Artist Michela Vianello, whose inspiration and creative mind gave concrete shape to the overall concept of the sculpture. The use of a single design element in an artistic context led up to a suspended and apparently fluid surface consisting of a multitude of elements whose balance derives from the overall composing motion: a fabric of energy flowing through points and lines, creating marked paths and colours able to generate the expression of motion in space. The sole Knit element covers a recurrence of overtones: white to black passing through three nuances of grey to transmit constant visual vibrations. The colour moves continuously in the optical space between the sculpture and the observer capturing an ever-changing three-dimensional effect in its endless harmonization. The Artist Michela Vianello explains: The challenge of this work was to imagine myself as an element and let myself drift away in the visual – but above all dreamlike – field by the rhythm of positive and negative, white and black where the greys were the pause of such inexhaustible voyage. The versatility of the Knit element was rendered thanks to the Artist“s experiences in the kinetic and optical studies, art movements she belonged to in her past. Such important background allowed her to move the colours tone to tone in an apparently in line solution. Fluxus found its practical application in the Rome project covering a surface area of 60 sq.m. and using 80,000 handmade glass Knit elements – 6,000 kg of glass, steel and technology. The structure consists of mirrored laser cut metal tracks, creating a sense movement. Running on these tracks are fine cross-beams to which the Knit elements are anchored, attached one by one by means of a technical device created to an original Andromeda design. The lighting is provided by 5,000 punctiform halogen lamps distributed in a network across the internal surface of the wave. The starting point for the sculpture is a structure I conceived from the beginning as a balance of forces united to form a movement I would describe as fluctuating, soft and enveloping, flowing between well defined points and lines to create a texture which traces out paths of signs and colours to achieve complete visual equilibrium. Knit for Andromeda is a system I designed of hand made Murano glass loops that can be woven together from a few to thousands to create endless configurations of delicate ornate glass chandeliers and lighting. Our living spaces and objects should ideally be organic, transformable, flexible and allow objects and furniture to breathe – to shape the personality of the space, and knit is the fabric of light itself, to forever keep space dynamic, luxurious, and inspiring.