Leo Villareal: Buckyball
Leo Villareal’s Buckyball, inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, applies fundamental concepts of geometry to a thirty-foot-tall illuminated sculpture. Buckyball includes two nested, geodesic sculptural spheres comprised of 180 LED tubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons, known as a “Fullerene.” Pixels, located every 1.2 inches along the tubes, are each capable of displaying 16 million distinct colors and are programmed by the artist’s own software. Relying on LED technologies driven by chance, Buckyball‘s light sequences create exuberant, random compositions of varied speed, color, opacity, and scale. These configurations prompt the human impulse to identify patterns and gather meaning from our external environment. Villareal’s light sculpture is surrounded by zero-gravity couches that allow viewers to recline below the artwork. Villareal came of age as an artist when light-based works by Mary Corse, Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin and James Turrell were recognized and lauded. As well, he was a student during the first generation of home computers, inspiring his expertise in tech-based work.