Leo Villareal: Supercluster

June 29–September 1, 2004

A matrix of 640 LED (light emitting diode) illuminators, measuring 45 by 120 feet, displays patterns produced by Leo Villareal's programming that suggest a coded game. Supercluster, a "system," combines related elements in a complex whole. While some aspects of the project imply order, such as the grid, the animation within the framework displays a more chaotic dynamic, which conveys a sense of being alive as the pattern evolves. This project unites Villareal's interests in particle systems and cellular automata: individual elements, governed by their own set of rules, accelerate, decelerate, collide, multiply, explode, live, and die in a larger system. On P.S.1's scaffolding, nestled between the Midtown Tunnel, the Long Island Expressway, and the Queensborough Bridge and with the backdrop of Manhattan, this artwork's urban qualities resonate within its context. Mirroring the patterns of pedestrians, traffic, trains, and the city itself, Supercluster distills the underlying rules that govern a complex system and seeks a common denominator between the organic and synthetic. While it shares the retinal appeal of surrounding animated advertisements and billboards, Supercluster's fragmented abstraction eludes easy decoding and pattern recognition as its numerical emanations vacillate between signal and noise.

  • Leo Villareal
    Supercluster  (2004)


Leo Villareal: Supercluster, as part of Signatures of the Invisible, is organized by P.S.1 Director of Operations Antoine Guerrero with P.S.1 Project Manager Cornelia Tischmacher.

Signatures of the Invisible is made possible by The London Institute: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Fashion, London College of Printing, and SLAC: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Additional support for Leo Villareal: Supercluster is provided by Ben and Donna Rosen and Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, and John Johnson.