Since this is a kinetic sculpture, I figured that I wasn't the only one to take a video of this. I also thought that Image search might be a bit tricky. So, searching in Google Videos for [ flip animated sculpture airport ] leads quickly to an instantly recognizable video of "Cloud."
Once you know its name you can find other lovely videos. This second video turns out to have all kinds of information, including a link in the comments field to the Troika website, and from there you can answer all of the questions: Troika.uk.com. If we jump to their web page about the sculpture: (extracted from that page...)
Troika [who are: Eva Rucki, Conny Freyer, Sebastien Noe ] was commissioned by Artwise Curators to create a signature piece for the entrance of the new British Airways luxury lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5.
In response, we created 'Cloud', a five meter long digital sculpture whose surface is covered with 4638 flip-dots that can be individually addressed by a computer to animate the entire skin of the sculpture.
Flip-dots were conventionally used in the 70s and 80s to create signs in train-stations and airports. By audibly flipping between black and silver, the flip-dots create mesmerizing waves as they chase across the surface of Cloud. Reflecting its surrounding colours, the mechanical mass is transformed into an organic form that appears to come alive, shimmering and flirting with the onlookers that pass by.
The sculpture is located in Terminal 5 in the atrium hall that leads to the British Airways First Class Lounges.
The brief from British Airways was open and simple: create a signature piece that marks the entrance to the First Class Lounges and signifies the transition between the busy shopping floor and the calm and serenity of the lounges. Working from the idea of clouds and the contrast between the busy, hectic airport experience and the calm, luminous and ethereal world that we discover as we fly through this dense layer we came up with the basic metaphor, atmosphere and form of the installation.
... one of our inspirations came from the old electromagnetic flip-dots that were used in railway and airport signs from the mid 70s. Those signs, with their characteristic flicking noise that instantly invokes the idea of travel, represent to us a golden age of technology when analogue and digital started to merge...
More info: http://troika.uk.com/cloud
Search Lessons: I have to admit that there were many, many different ways to solve this problem.
Here are some of the successful queries that searchers used:
[ airport terminal sculpture aluminium ]
[ airport hanging electronic sculpture ]
[ mirror sculpture airport ]
[ airport sculpture flipping discs ]
[ airport sculpture silver discs ]
Clearly, having the search terms "airport" and "sculpture" in the query was important. How you described the kinetic aspect or the makeup of the discs (mirror, aluminum, flipping) all led to the same places.
But the lesson is clear: Use the information you have as a base, and then vary the descriptive terms as a way to zero in on what you're looking for. You KNOW that it's a sculpture in an airport--but you don't know how someone might write about the flipping discs. (Would they say "disks" or "circles" or "flipdots" or ...)
And finally, kudos to everyone who listened to the sound and figured out it was British Air. I'm impressed. I was there, and it wasn't clear that *I* understood what they were saying! Great sleuthing!