Amazon – Cascadia Junction

Cascadia is the given name for this Pacific Northwest region. 
Artistic Medium: Ombrae & custom perforated aluminum panel

This new Ombrae mural facade, Cascadia Junction, takes its title from two reference points at the site of the Amazon distribution centre in Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island.

Installation of west elevation

One reference point is taken from the actual location of the facility on the northern side of Beacon Avenue at a bend in the road where Beacon Avenue turns abruptly from a westerly path to a northerly one, just across from Victoria International Airport.

Another reference point is more imaginary. 

West Elevation Close Up - detail of Mt. Baker

The image design for this Ombrae mural is an artistic compilation of images from the surrounding seas and mountains that cannot literally be seen from the Amazon distribution center on Beacon Ave.

The composed Ombrae design mounted on the Amazon building facade gives the viewer a sweeping panoramic visual impression of the mountain ranges, and oceans that encompass the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island. 

In the distance to the east across Haro Strait, the dominant feature of the Washington state’s Cascade Range, is Mt. Baker. Again in Washington State to the south over the Straits of Juan De Fuca, is the Olympic Mountain Range. To the west across Patricia Bay and Finlayson Arm is Malahat mountain and the Cowichan hills that form the southern terminus of the Vancouver Island ranges.

Detail of South Elevation Close Up

Seen on a map or from a satellite image, Cascadia Junction communicates the idea that the Amazon facility is a juxtaposition of these two reference points: creating a 270 degree panoramic vista of the scenes depicted in the Ombrae artwork, visible at ground level from the first reference point at the bend in the road.

Marine Chart - Views of the Southern End of Vancouver Island: Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, & Georgia Strait

The Cascadia Junction artwork is a sweeping projection of views that are beyond the limits of a viewer’s actual ground based gaze. This cinematic experience, working through Ombrae’s uniquely 3D effect, brings the conceptual and the real, the digital and the analogue together dynamically and visually engaging. A viewer is invited to contemplate the world they can see, and the world they can imagine. A mirror reflection of the mind in the world.

- Roderick Quin, Artist 

Ombrae’s characteristics are unique in that a Sculptural Image™ is composed of multiple, identical “sculptural objects: 3D pixels or Optical Tiles™” .

Generally speaking, Ombrae surfaces can be rendered at various scales and in various materials becoming what I call an “Image Object.” The Image Object is responsive, like a traditional sculptural object would, to the lighting conditions of a given time, location, and angle of the viewer’s position. Some have called Ombrae holographic because of its almost fully 3D effect on a flat surface. Ombrae Sculptural Images have the look and feel of the original subject of the image; the subject is transformed by Ombrae to behave like a real object in real space.

The dramatic scale of an Ombrae Sculptural Image is initially the most impactful to a viewer: architectural image-making at a cinematic scale. We experience images on the movie screen as larger than life. I’m very interested in the idea that the architectural applications of Ombrae elevate the cityscape into a cinematic/holographic display: a dynamic, interactive multi-dimensional experience.

We now live and navigate in a cinematic environment. From handheld devices to buildings, “image” is the new visual language iconography of urban communication. Within this cinematic hologram we tell our stories, reflected in the mirror of the social geography within the city’s urban landscape.

Ombrae is a natural and evolutionary outcome of the impact of digital communication, breakthroughs in architecture, and material manufacturing technologies. It is able to signify, narrate, and inform at architectural scales. Ombrae is not an actual social media platform per say. It functions on more emotional levels: quietly, subtly messaging meaning on a deep level of recognition. It reifies our sense and awareness of the city’s placemaking identifiers: creating navigational memory-markers in motion, in real time, in real space. 

Check out our project page linked here, for more information about this work of art.

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