2018, Permanent Sculptural Commission

11′ x 64′ x 4″, powder coated steel, LED lights, motion sensors


University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Shimmer is a 64′ long modular steel sculptural installation with LED lights and motion sensors that creates trails of light in reaction to the movements of the viewer. Both the hexagonal sculptural forms, inspired by hydrocarbon structures, and the programmable lighting, which integrates bioluminescent communication patterns from deep sea video, relate to their presence at the Guaymas Basin in the Sea of Cortez, a region explored by the artist along with scientist Mandy Joye in 2018.

This project was part of Rutstein’s tenure as the 2018-19 Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding at the University of Georgia, an annual award given to leading global scholars and creative thinkers who conceive and produce ground breaking collaborative works with University of Georgia faculty. Rutstein’s collaboration with microbologist and geochemist Mandy Joye included a joint expedition at sea and a deep sea dive in the submersible Alvin to the ocean floor 2,200 meters below, funded by the National Science Foundation.

This project was generously funded through the Delta Visiting Chair award established by UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts with a gift from the Delta Airlines Foundation. The chair is founded upon the legacy of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which from 1997-2011 was presented to individuals – including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ted Turner, Desmond Tutu, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter – whose initiatives promoted world peace by advancing understanding and cooperation among cultures and nations.

Shimmer, originally planned as a year long installation was permanently acquired by the Georgia Museum of Art in 2020.

University of Georgia - ShimmerUniversity of Georgia - Shimmer
University of Georgia - ShimmerUniversity of Georgia - Shimmer
University of Georgia - ShimmerUniversity of Georgia - Shimmer