Visions of Harmony: Technology / Nature / Humanity

Imagination is the creative spark for my monumental-scale art installations. My imagination is driven by a deep curiosity and child-like sense of wonder.

I believe those words could describe many creative individuals in a vast spectrum of fields. I think of Einstein, whose remarkable “thought experiments” led to his revolutionary theory of relativity and a profoundly deeper understanding of our universe. I think of da Vinci… Galileo… Bach… Jonas Salk… The Beatles… Orson Welles, and so many others who left a treasure trove of beauty, revelations and life-altering discoveries in their wake.

As an artist, my focus has been on exploring the potential harmony between technology, nature and humanity. After earning a degree in architecture, I turned my focus to site-specific environmental art. I think my education — with its blend of architecture, art, engineering and urban planning — gave me an intimate grasp of scale, three dimensional space and historical context.

More than 25 years ago I created a vast, luminous installation set in the rolling hills of Northern California. In some ways “Luminous Earth Grid” seems almost more timely now than when I first imagined it. An electrified array of nearly 2000 fluorescent tubes swept over an 8-football-field-expanse of lush green hills north of San Francisco. The glowing grid conformed to the undulating contours of the hills and appeared to hover just above the land. I see the project as a poetic vision for the potential harmony between technology and nature.

Across the Atlantic, I installed “Breath of Life/Dresden” at the historic Dresden Cathedral, marking the 70th observance of the devastating firebombing of Dresden. Computer-controlled waves of light caused the Cathedral to appear to “breathe.” It was arguably a moving vision in a city where tens of thousands suffocated in a searing firestorm in the final days of WWII… an event lodged in history as an icon in the horrors of war.

Stuart Williams is an environmental artist and architect specializing in monumental-scale public art installations exploring symbolic intersections between technology, nature and humanity. Based in New York, his work has drawn wide critical acclaim around the globe.