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Lentz Public Health Center

Lentz Public Health Center

A citizen selection panel selected artist Erik Carlson for the public art project at the new Lentz Public Health Center on Charlotte Avenue. His proposed work, Circulate, is a dynamic, interactive public art installation for the interior of the building. Modeled on the concept of small-world networks and the body’s circulation system, the artwork will use LCD Smart glass “pixels” to dramatically animate the ideas of flow and connection across the large feature wall, interacting with visitors’ movements up and down the central staircase. The artwork is connected to one central computer located in the 3rd floor computer closet, and a camera mounted on the opposite side of the atrium. When activated by movement on the stairs, the LCD Smart glass disks will change from a clear state to an almost white state. The artwork will draw patrons toward and encourage them to utilize the stair while providing an engaging artwork to experience from up close or from afar.

Carlson states, “Circulate is about action, about choosing movement over passivity. It is centered on the verb “circulate”—to move around, to interact with, to socialize. It is about a decision to flow and interconnect, to disseminate and communicate with the people and places around us. At its heart, it is about making the choice TO move oneself, instead of BEING moved. And it is about drawing the patrons of the Lentz Public Health Building to the central staircase, and setting them on this path of circulation. Working in harmony with the building’s design, Circulate will dynamically illustrate the choice of activity over passivity, and will provide a tangible reward when patrons embark on this paradigm shift toward circulation. It may only be a symbolic reward—activating the dramatic animations across the artwork feature wall, but in the context of a public health building, this reward is important, saying, ‘Good for you!’ Literally.”

Carlson, an artist and composer, is based in Providence, Rhode Island. His compositions and installations examine the ways we interact with our built and natural environments. Carlson began incorporating video and light elements into his work in 2004, and expanded his field to include interactive objects and installations, public art and site-specific performance. His recent work can be found in San Diego at the San Diego Airport, in Denver at the Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, in Providence at the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles, at 110 Vermont Avenue in Washington, DC, and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Carlson was awarded the Public Art Network’s 2012 Year in Review award for Cloud Seeding, an interactive public art installation he designed for a branch library in Denver, CO.

The Charlotte Avenue building, opening in June 2014, replaces the existing Lentz Public Health Center at 311 23rd Avenue, North.