Michael Hayden neon sculpture to pop once more on Pershing Square 1

Architecture & Design · Visual arts

Generators3-96dpi-Photo Courtesy of Michael Hayden

Generators of the Cylinder , 1982, Michael Hayden. 270′ x 11′, Cylinders: 4′ x 4′ x 2′, Infrared sensors, holographically etched polycarbonate, stainless steel panels and neon lights

Michael Hayden’s iconic light sculpture, “Generators of the Cylinder,” an ultra-bright neon rainbow, will be re-lit for the first time in nearly a decade during a special ceremony at the International Jewelry Center on Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles.

The unveiling of Generators of the Cylinder in 1982 - Photo courtesy of Michael HaydenHayden is one of the world’s most sophisticated light artists, famous for transforming corridors with neon light, most notably at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

That byway is a great personal favorite. I will never forget the first time I traversed it, moving from terminal to terminal at O’Hare. I was then living in Hong Kong, and flying back to the U.S. after nearly two years living overseas, I thought I had come back to the future.

The overhead neon sculpture at Pershing is a 270-foot-long chain of holographically etched polycarbonate semi-cylinders that are informed by infrared sensors and a hidden computer. The result is a light show in which pedestrians see their movements reflected back to them in green, yellow, blue, orange, pink, purple and red flashes and swirls. It is best experienced when walking underneath.

The fun photo at right dates to the 1980s — the sculpture’s first appearance — courtesy of Michael Hayden and provided by arts·meme friend Christine Anderson.

‘Generators of the Cylinder” relighting | Pershing Square | Jan 22, 4 – 6 pm

One comment on “Michael Hayden neon sculpture to pop once more on Pershing Square

  1. Mari Vail Apr 5,2024 6:14 am

    I own Michael Hayden’s first neon sculpture JOG. Very difficult to assemble without breakage it was once repaired in Paris at the original neon workshop/studio.
    Each new piece of Michael’s brought a jolt of visual pleasure of a different ever-evolving kind. Grateful for all the ‘eyegasms’, Michael. Never ever ever stop.

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