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light bulb The Installations

Blue orbs



ARTIST: John E. Bannon, Chicago, IL

Location: Sunken Garden

Materials: Neon hung from stainless steel

Breathe. A perspective based neon light installation whose imagery depicts an image of a young girl blowing the seeds off of a dandelion when seen from the West and looking southeast. When viewed from the North and facing southwest, the tubes will align to depict a mature woman smelling a rose.


Reel with Red dots


Atomic Forest

ARTISTS: Katherine Cannistra & Geoff Landrum, Hales Corners, WI

Location: Wildflower Garden near pond

Materials: Individually addressable LEDs, Polyethylene crosslink tube, Aluminum, Copper Steel

The Atomic Forest is comprised of free-standing “trees,” each with floral attributes at the top of a “stem.” A canopy of networked LEDs animates patterns that visualize the nano-processes of our digital interconnectedness. These representations of unbridled technology are juxtaposed in a form that resembles a blooming flower with stamen poised for reproduction.


close up strin of bulbs



ARTISTS: Wisconsin Community Burners, Madison, WI

Location: Thai Bridge

Materials: PEX tubing, programmable LED light strips, Arduino microcontrollers and Teensy USB development boards, metal frame, 3D printed clips, sound equipment

Norse myth and legends tell of a burning rainbow bridge that connects the realms of man and the gods. This shimmering path will transport you from this mortal world to a heavenly place.


red lights with blurry bulbs


SWF(Light) - pronounced 'swift flight' or 'swift light'

ARTIST: Jen Fuller, Portland, OR

Location: Thai Pavilion

Materials: Fused glass, steel, digital projection, sound

Bridging technology and nature, SWF(Light) is a kinetic mobile composed of 100 handmade glass birds, digitally projected with video and an audio landscape to create an uplifting and provocative experience housed within Olbrich Botanical Gardens' iconic Thai Pavilion. Inspired by the Vaux swift bird flight murmuration that transpires yearly next to the artist's studio, memories of painted Thai umbrellas from the artists childhood living in Thailand, and the mystical presence of the Sala itself, artist Jen Fuller invites the viewer into a colorful homage to nature and Thai culture.


reel with tape


Color Currents

ARTIST: Cory Barr, Oakland, CA

Location: Small clearing near beehives

Materials: Projector, camera, lycra, custom software, infrared lights

Color Currents allows participants to create a constantly changing mural using their bodies and its motion. Quick motions create currents that cause streams of color to emerge. Slower, smooth motions let visitors paint with their bodies while altering the color currents. Visitors can work together to discover hidden collaborative features.


blurry lights


To afar the water flows

ARTISTS: Yuge Zhou, Chicago, IL

Location: Rose Garden Courtyard

Materials: projector, media player, HDMI, USB drive, L brackets, screws, Marine Grade Plywood, waterproof white paint

To afar the water flows reconstructs the city into a high-rise garden utopia, emphasizing a genuine harmony between man-made structures and their natural surroundings. A decade ago, I left my home in Beijing and came to America to begin an immigrant’s journey. To afar the water flows is both a visual diary of this experience and a loving portrait of American cities.


blue tape


Sphere of Influence

ARTIST: Paul Hayden, Stone Bank, WI

Location: Event Garden

Materials: plastic piping, programmable LED, flood lights

Push the button. Did you influence the sphere or did it influence you with its response? Or did somebody really want to make a dome with lights on it and influenced you into thinking it had a higher purpose? Such is the silliness with social media influencers...




Double Helix II

ARTIST: George Neil & Kevin Jordan, Williamsburg, VA

Location: Great Lawn

Materials: black iron pipe, galvanized and stainless steel wire, steel EMT covered with transparent heat shrink, nylon globes

Double Helix II is a kinetic light sculpture featuring an interactive torsional wave machine allowing visitors to launch waves which travel in slow motion down the ninety‐foot artwork. Simultaneously, thousands of programmed LEDs provide a mesmerizing active display in waves of color on the sixty‐four transverse ribs suspended twenty feet above the Great Lawn.


blue orbs


Canopy Sessions | Friday, March 6

Spring Flower Show | March 7-22

Spring Flower Show Plant Sale | Monday, March 23

Cocktails in the Conservatory | Friday, March 27

Canopy Sessions | Friday, April 3

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719