Ned Kahn, Net of Indra, 2016
West Hollywood Automated Parking Structure, 1085 N Sweetzer Avenue
The artwork, Net of Indra, is a grid of large crystal spheres behind the glass curtain façade, which responds to the movement of the elevator. The crystals act like lenses, catching light and movement as the elevator moves cars around inside the building. This site-specific artwork draws its energy and animation directly from the moment-to-moment changing conditions of this dynamic building. The form and design of the artwork are a unique response to the architectural and mechanical context of the parking structure.
The artwork fills the 20' 2" wide x 35' 9" high glass façade space with 3000 crystal spheres strung on 40 stainless steel cables.
The title of the artwork, Net of Indra, is a metaphor used to illustrate Buddhist concepts of emptiness, dependent origination, and interpenetration. In a very basic sense the Net of Indra symbolizes a universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all members of the universe. According to Buddhist texts Indra’s net is set with jewels which have the extraordinary property that they reflect all of the other jewels.
Emptiness - all things perceived by the senses are not really "I" or "mine", and for this reason one should not cling to them
Dependent Origination - a belief that all phenomena are arising together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect
Interpenetration - all phenomena are intimately connected
Ned Kahn (http://nedkahn.com/) began work as an artist at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco in the early 1980’s creating interactive sculptures inspired by everything from wind and waves to black holes and galaxies. Created using simple materials such as water, sand and air, these artworks were celebrations of nature, inspired by fluid dynamics and other aspects of science. Many of his artworks revel the way patterns can emerge when things flow. The patterns are not static objects; they are patterns of behavior – dynamic recurring themes in nature.
In recent years, much of Kahn’s art has focused on works that are activated by the movement of wind, water or light and reveal some invisible or unnoticed phenomena. He has collaborated with architects and designers to complete over 40 major public art projects throughout the world and is fascinated with the idea of an artwork becoming a scientific instrument, a register of phenomena, and blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, science and nature.