Rainbow Bits

George W. Hart

Rainbow Bits is a sphere of 642 CDROMs, over 6 feet in diameter, commissioned by Carlo Sequin for the Computer Science building of U.C. Berkeley.  

It is based on the propello-icosahedron, which consists of 20 equilateral triangles and 60 tri-equiangular kites. It is suspended from a chain which allows it to rotate slowly with the air currents, and the visual effect constantly changes with the lights, viewer, and sculpture position. The atrium has four sets of spotlights which are controlled by dimmers adjacent to the sculpture.  Anyone can adjust them to produce a variety of effects. 

The above closeup image better illustrates the colorful holographic surface of these disks. At certain settings, many shadows and reflections are projected on the surrounding walls.  The result is very dynamic as the sculpture slowly rotates. Here is its shadow on the floor, at the summer solstice:

If you go to Berkeley to see it, take the elevator in Soda Hall up to the 6th or 7th floor.  For some pictures of the assembly, see my Rainbow Bits Construction page.  For more pictures and additional information see Prof. Carlo Sequin's U.C. Berkeley web page for this sculpture.

These are the same holographic disks used in my propello-octahedron sculpture at Princeton, provided by Katherine Cochrane of the CD-Info Company.

copyright 1999, George W. Hart