Title: Firefly
Photo Credit: Ned Kahn
Lead Artist(s):

<p>Ned Kahn&rsquo;s 12- story, wind-driven kinetic light sculpture, Firefly, is installed as part of one of San Francisco&rsquo;s greenest buildings, the new Public Utilities Commission (PUC) headquarters, which achieved LEED Platinum certification. Kahn&rsquo;s sculpture is a visual expression of the power of the wind, appropriately mounted on the fa&ccedil;ade of the tower housing wind turbines that generate 7% of the building&rsquo;s electrical needs. Firefly is comprised of a lattice of tens of thousands of five-inch-square, clear-polycarbonate panels that are hinged so that they can freely move in the wind. During the day, the ever-changing wind pattern profile on the building appears as undulating waves. At night, this movement is converted into light. As the wind presses the hinged panels inward a small embedded magnet connected to an electrical reed switch triggers the flickering of tiny LED lights. The lights are colored to mimic fireflies, which are a threatened species due to their dependence on riparian ecosystems. Kahn is widely regarded as a master at creating mesmerizing works of art that harness the power and unobservable force of natural systems such as wind, water and light. This makes for a natural nexus between the artist&rsquo;s practice and PUC services&mdash;the delivery of water, wind-power and electricity. In keeping with the PUC&rsquo;s commitment to sustainable energy, the entire sculpture requires less energy than a 75-Watt light bulb to operate.</p>

Municipal Building/Site
Location is known as Public Utilities Commission (PUC) headquarters
Public Utilities Commission Headquarters
525 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94012
United States

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San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco Arts Commission
The Electronic Outhouse
Endrestudio, KMD Architects, Rocket Science
Rob Swartz, Ryan Stevens, JW Nickel

$500,000 and above
Kinetic, Mixed Media, Sculpture
LED, Metal, Panels
Kinetic light sculpture-mixed media

Embedded thumbnail for 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review: Firefly
Embedded thumbnail for 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review: Firefly by Night