Studio F Minus

Studio F-Minus




Oxford Properties
Artist, Fabricator
PVW Consultants: Sandy Pearl, Robert VanderBerg & Clyde Wagner (Producer); Kira Varvanina (Creative Assistant); Michael Hopkins, Blackwell Bowick (Structural Engineer); Silver Lining Costumes & Abletex (Fabrication); Phil Baljeu & Luis Hernandez (Electronics Fabrication);
Caroline Hollway (Installation Manager)
Completed April 2012



Keeping with the aim of reducing environmental impact, Studio F Minus created Air Pressure through a number of sustainable practices.

• Each sculpture is fabricated from natural cotton, a rapidly
renewable resource.
• Each bird is illuminated by energy-efficient, low-power LED lights.
An entire flock of birds can be lit using less energy than would be consumed in an everyday incandescent desk lamp.
• All hanging structures are made with re-usable materials that will
find a second life after the close of this exhibition.

Air is formless and elusive, and yet also ubiquitous and vital. It has neither visual presence nor significant mass. In Air Pressure, Studio F Minus was tasked on giving air form and expression.

Air Pressure was a temporary project which spread over 200 inflatable kinetic sculptures across 12 different sites. The artwork was commissioned to raise awareness of clean air benchmarks achieved by our client, Oxford Properties.

Rather than create illustrations, data visualizations, or charts describing the impact of air quality on life on earth, Studio F Minus created a unique series of whimsical bird sculptures that use air as a life-force to animate the artwork.

Each bird is made of a cotton fabric given shape by inflating it with air, via a small fan attached to the top of the sculpture. As these fans cycle on and off, the wings inflate and deflate slightly, mimicking the motion of a bird in flight. Each sculpture flaps its wings independently, creating a naturalistic effect produced entirely through changes in air pressure.

This relationship between the sculpture and air parallels our own dependence on clean air, and highlights the importance of ecologically responsible initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions.


Torontoist, "Bird's the Word", Kelli Korducky, [PDF]

The A.V. Club "Downtown Office Spaces Have Gone to the Birds", Claire Hastings