Harmonic Convergence, a large-scale art installation by artist, architect and composer Christopher Janney, was installed at Miami International Airport in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami 2011, 1- 4 December, hosted by Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places.
“This is my fifth project in South Florida. It is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the sounds of the subtropics most particularly the Everglades, the ocean shore and underwater sounds, especially sounds both real, as in whales and porpoises, and imagined, i.e. mermaids and Atlantis. Christopher Janney
Janney terms Harmonic Convergence “an abstraction of South Florida in color and sound.” The work features a 72-foot-long window wall with diamond-shaped panes of coloured glass in front of a white structural steel “X-Bracing” frame. With a palette of over 150 transparent colours, Janney has created a gradually changing pattern ranging from deep reds to bright violets, similar to a rainbow.
As travellers enter the space, they will hear a complex set of sounds Janney recorded during trips to the Florida Everglades, scuba dives in the ocean, and other natural environments of South Florida. In addition, two video cameras installed in the ceiling feed information to the computer regarding the pedestrian activity within the space, influencing the density of the sound-score. At the top of each hour, a short composition with percussion instruments plays, marking the time of day.
The project is part of Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program and is located in the passenger connector walkway that is the entrance into the airport from the new the “MIA Mover” automated transit system. Harmonic Convergence is a replacement for Janney’s 1997 airport commission Harmonic Runway, which was removed from Concourse A after changes to the airport occurred due to 9/11 security. That former artwork had become an icon of South Florida, featured in numerous magazines and on film including the Harrison Ford feature, “Random Hearts” and the Nicholas Cage film, “8MM.”
Christopher Janney trained as an architect and jazz musician,and his work explores the relationships between sound and architecture, often-transforming otherwise ordinary spaces into “hyper-reality” environments. Educated at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Janney has explored the intersection of architecture and music for over thirty years, creating temporary and permanent installations throughout the United States and Europe. Sometimes he tries making architecture more like music as in his Soundstair on the Spanish Steps in Rome and Sonic Forest at the Bonnaroo and Glastonbury Music Festivals. At other times, he has attempted to make music more like architecture as in his HeartBeat performances. He is well known to Miami sports fans for his Turn Up the Heat interactive “anemone” scoreboard created for the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena.