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New installation by design firm Rebar on view at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Rebar, Kaleidoscape, 2013. Photo: Peter Cavagnaro.
BERKELEY, CA.- The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive presents Kaleidoscape, a new installation by the San Francisco–based design firm Rebar. Both a work of art and a piece of furniture, the modular sculpture is designed to be reconfigured spontaneously by visitors and is the newest centerpiece of BAM/PFA’s expansive 7,000-square-foot central atrium Gallery B.

Visitors are encouraged to rearrange any combination of the sixty pieces that comprise Kaleidoscape to create a customized environment for study, relaxation, or socializing. Together, the colorful sections, which are constructed of a rigid foam encased in a soft and durable fabric, may also be used to create a crystalline pattern to be viewed from the upper galleries. Like its predecessor in Gallery B, Thom Faulders’s BAMscape, the work may also function as a seating area for performances and events, including the regular L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA series. During gallery hours, free wireless Internet allows students and other visitors to enjoy Kaleidoscape as a site for study and socializing. The installation is on view from May 12, 2013 through late 2015.

Rebar is known for work that challenges expectations about the use of public space, the potential of materials, and the opportunities for social and cultural interaction. Recent projects include Park(ing) (2005), which transformed metered parking spaces in San Francisco into temporary parklets, the Panhandle Bandshell (2007) fabricated from recycled materials, and the restoration of degraded bird habitats on Año Nuevo Island with nest modules and habitat ridges (2009-2011).

Rebar was founded in 2004; the principal designers are Matthew Passmore, John Bela, Blaine Merker, and Teresa Aguilera. Their work has been exhibited at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale; ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam; ISEA 2009 Dublin; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; the American Institute of Architects; the Canadian Centre for Architecture; Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Parsons School of Design.

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