Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Harbor Fog" by Ross Miller, a Boston Monument

Harbor Fog
Ross Miller
Granite ,steel, glass.

Ross Millers sculpture “Harbor Fog”, mysteriously and subtly reminds us of the the commercial importance, the danger,the history of the Boston Harbor and its islands. This modern interactive sculptor composed of granite stone taken from ancient Boston wharfs incorporates the skills of electricians, LED lighting, plumbing, motion detectors, as well as marine bronze.

A detailed list of key components of this pedestrian interactive structure follows:

21 Granite seawall stones, discovered and salvaged from wharves uncovered during Central Artery construction, form a boat-shaped sculptural landscape with openings to invite one into he interior space.
3 buoy markers, built of stainless steel and naval bronze, inspired by Boston Harbor navigational buoys.
12 motions sensors - ultrasonic sensors used for industrial control systems and additional infrared and microwave sensors cue fog, light and sound.
72 high pressure water fog nozzles used in the industrial cooling industry.
12 color Blast LED fixtures,provide over 16.7 million colors,controlled by IP addressable digital sequencer.
DIgital data processor, timers, astronomical clock, control software, to interpret pedestrian motion and control system response.
Digital sound, provides on the hour bells and sound sequences cued by motion sensors .

Ross Miller's ideas evolve by examining the site’s ecological and social history, patterns of pedestrian activity, quality of light, and proposed future uses in order to create public artwork that makes direct connection with the site, heightening one’s experience of being in that specific place. Sited in publicly accessible locations - urban squares and parks, in schools, subway tunnels, along highways and over city streets - these projects evolve through collaboration with local residents, school and community groups, planners, architects, landscape architects and other artists. The projects range from urban and architectural scale installations to intimate pedestrian scale sculptures.

Harbor Fog sculptor's, lighting work, more decorative in nature, has been developed by Miller from an original system developed from steel cable, net and commercial electric fixtures. These light installations contribute to urban experience in the dark cold times - at night and in the winter. At night the artworks appear to float due to fog mist emitted from the sculptor.

This Interactive artwork is located along the harbor side pedestrian walkway of Greenway Parcel 17, between the Aquarium and Rowes Wharf.

Granite seawall stones, salvaged from nearby piers, form a boat-shaped sculptural landscape with openings to invite pedestrians into an interior space. Here three vertical sculptural beacons, inspired by Boston Harbor navigational buoys, contain multiple fog nozzles, LED light sources, and a sound system.
Motion sensors at the top of the sculptures respond to pedestrian activity to initiate changing patterns of fog mist and light. Gusts of wind redirect the fog, colors change with seasons and ambient light conditions. Pedestrian activity, picked up by multiple motion sensors, creates changing effects that encourage people to move, explore and play with the sculptural buoy elements.
During warmer months the evening fog is illuminated by changing color progressions of LED light. In winter, with the fog turned off, light sparkles from within and projects out from the stainless steel beacon sculptures. In stormy weather light projecting from the sculptures projects patterns on snow-covered landscape.
Fog and lighting systems are industrial components designed for low maintenance and long operational life. Annual operation of the Harbor Fog water system follows seasonal schedule for park irrigation maintenance. The lighting and motion control systems operate throughout the year.

Concept and design by artist Ross Miller over a three year period with support for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project and Mass Turnpike Authority. Over 85 people have been evolved in the realization of this project: mechanical and electrical engineers, site construction workers, union tradespeople, steel fabricators and installers, digital and 3d model makers and management staff.
Project Team

Ross Miller,  Project Artist - concept, design development & 
                     details, shop drawings, fabrication & on-site     
                     installation direction

Project concept development began in the spring of 2005; site landscape work May - September, 2007; water system elements installed September - October, 2008; electrical sensors & programming April - May, 2009.

May individuals have contributed expertise and energy to the realization of this project, following is a partial listing:
(in approximate order of appearance)

Fred Yalouris  - Arch & Urban Design, MHD
Genaise Gonzalez - MHD Assistant
Wharf District Task Force
Steve Anderson - Authorized Rep. B/PB
Bob Masys  - Assistant PE, CA/T
Dennis Carmichael - Site LA, EDAW
Kristi Farnsworth - Site LA, EDAW
John Powell - Lighting Engineer, Parsons Brinkerhoff
John Calnan - Senior Engineer, FST
Drew Simmons - Electrical Engineering
Bob Redfern - FCN Plumbing Engineer
John Copley - Landscape Architect
Sean Sanger  - Landscape documents
Steve Sailing - Site details and specs
Luba Bezverkhny - plumbing specification
Brian Blethen - CA/T Accounting
Beatrice Ward - Models, large and small
David Brosnan - Structural Integrity Engineering Group

Ann Gorczyca - PE, Manager of Park Construction, MHD
Scott Wilson - site Installation, MHD
Dan Mullaly - MHD, site electrician, MHD
Mario Mazzeo - site plumbing, MHD
John Pagani - CA/T PE
Mike Flynn - Parcel 17 PE
Jim Barrett, CA/T

Kurt Maley - Fabrication Guru
Steve Baez - Fabrication Lead
Greg - Machine tool programming
Sam Wainwright - CAD Visualization
Ted Farnham - Lighting tech assistance
John Melillo - Color Kinetics
Andrew Hutcheson -  CAD site visualization
Ross Peterson - Mee Industries
Ajay Dighe - Mee industries
Kevin Randall - Manifold CAD
Paul DeRocher - Control Systems, programming & site work
Chris Souza - ALPS lighting & control systems

"Boston Bronze and Stone Speak To Us " intends to add this most resent Boston Moument to our book. Our book can be purchased on and