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Cactal

Public art - a 5-ton floating sculptural form by Simeon Nelson.

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Cactal is a 5-ton floating sculptural form commissioned by Teesside University for the Phoenix Building, home to the Institute of Digital Innovation by artist Simeon Nelson 2007.

The artist worked with Teesside graduate and DigitalCity fellow Andy Keeble on this algorythmically generated sculpture. Tendrils float across the building surface like 'digital ivy.'

It is powder coated and galvanised steel, 1190cm(h) x 614cm(w) x 217cm(d).

The artist's description 'Cactal’s pixellated tendrils grow across the building surface like ivy. What one encounters high up on the facade of the Institute is a process of self-generation that has been frozen at a particular moment. Cactal is also the latest in a series of works that addresses the historic relationship between sculpture, ornament and architecture. An epiphyte is a plant that lives with host plant in a state of symbiosis. Cactal simultaneously clothes and reveals its host building.

From Teesside University's Grapevine:

The sculpture, entitled Cactal, combines futuristic design by internationally renowned artist Simeon Nelson with the skilled engineering by North East based steel fabricators Architectural Metalworkers.

Cactal is based on a digital organism. It represents a process of self-generation that has been frozen at a particular moment. It is the latest in a series of works by Simeon Nelson that addresses the historic relationship between sculpture, ornament and architecture.

Simeon Nelson said, ‘Cactal reflects the internal activity of the building and its external effect on the growth and expansion of its core activities into the wider cultural, social and economic arena.’

Dr Jim TerKeurst, Director of the Institute of Digital Innovation, said, ‘It's a terrific sculpture and represents the creative use of digital technology and the impressive metal craft skills and capabilities of the North East. We have aspirations to take the University of Teesside and DigitalCity to new heights and Simeon Nelson's Cactal is a visual expression of this goal as it reaches up and across our new Phoenix Building.’

Professor Graham Henderson, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, ‘The University landscape is enriched by this innovative and thought-provoking work of art. I am delighted that our wonderful new Phoenix Building is associated with this work by Simeon Nelson. It enriches our campus and, indeed, the Tees Valley itself.’

Image © The Artist