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Take a Look at Calgary’s Mesmerizing Chinook Arc


An interactive public art piece is MSE’s latest project located in Calgary, Alberta. At night the Chinook Arc is lit by colour LED lights you can interact with. If you wave your hands, a coloured object, or even a cell phone video in front of the sensor it will cause the lights to wave across the sculpture in the same colour and motion. It was conceptualized and produced by Creative Machines who describe it as a “glowing diaphanous cloud” which is intended to bring people together at Barb Scott Park.

The complex engineering was approximately a year in the making and broke some new ground along the way. Chinook Arc is believed to be the world’s largest acrylic sculpture measuring 28 ft wide by about 15 ft tall. The skin of the piece doesn’t actually touch the skeleton, but rather floats on a sub-skeleton. Despite how delicate this sounds, it was designed with resilient materials to withstand regular human interaction and Calgary’s climate. It is made of galvanized steel, stainless steel, acrylic and silicon, and was installed in just 2-3 weeks. Public unveiling is on June 13, 2014.  



Artists: Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock / Creative Machines
Photography: Paul McGrath