Upon visiting the nearly complete Los Angeles International Jewelry Center in 1981, LA Times architecture critic John Dreyfus wrote that "All that saves the building from almost total offensiveness is a remarkably beautiful and exciting neon light sculpture by Michael Hayden," which Dreyfus (via Public Art in LA) called "the jewelry center's saving grace." The sculpture, "Generators of the Cylinder," is the first large-scale public art piece to employ holography, Hayden says in a statement—the artwork's cylinders use holograms, a hidden computer, and infrared sensors to reflect the motions of passers-by back at them in "flashes and swirls" of a rainbow of colors. So why has something this awesome been turned off for years?
"Generators of the Cylinder" has been dark since 2008, when hard economic times forced the building's owners to turn the dazzling sculpture off. The colorful piece requires cleaning and maintenance to keep it from getting mucked up by all the dust and particulates in the Downtown air, and that can get expensive. A lot's changed since then, though. Recently, the Jewelry Center has been undergoing upgrades, and sought to repair and relight the work. "Generators" has now been cleaned, refurbished, and will be relit in an official event this coming Thursday. According to a rep for the project, it will remain on "now and forever as far as we know."
· Generators of the Cylinder [PALA]