LEDs, custom software, electrical hardware
Planning for Cosmos began in November 2010, when Villareal—along with the project architect, Walter Smith, and donors Lisa and Richard Baker—worked with Johnson Museum staff to determine the optimal location for the installation. The ceiling of the Sherry and Joel Mallin Sculpture Court was chosen for its high visibility not only on campus but also from the city of Ithaca.
After studying the Museum’s architectural plans and considering structural and aesthetic aspects of the installation, the artist’s team returned to Cornell in April 2012 to install a nine-foot-square mock-up. Installation of the final piece took several weeks, with twelve thousand energy-efficient LEDs on a gridded framework attached to the ceiling of the sculpture court. A zero gravity bench was designed by the artist for viewers to fully immerse themselves in the viewing experience and to foster a more communal involvement with his installation.