Gugo Torelli and Shirin Abedinirad

Created by Italian designer Gugo Torelli and Iranian artist Sirin Abedinirad, the Babel Tower, a pyramid of mirrored panels, stood in Dasht-e Kavir, a desert in central Iran, for a few days in October. Sensing changes in the desert’s temperature and light, the tower's nine tiers spin independently to reflect the structure’s surroundings, creating a kaleidoscope of the environment.

The Tower of Babel appears in Genesis 11. The Biblical story follows the people of earth who all spoke the same language and decided to come together to build a brick-and-tar tower. The story narrates the Lord’s decision to maintain control by making the people speak different languages. Even though the people scattered around the world, the Tower of Babel stood as a symbol for a unified society. The artists wanted to send this message of unity with their version of the tower.

The Babel Tower was removed shortly after installing it, as the team never really had the authorization to place it. However, Torelli is playing with proximity sensors that would rotate the tower based on reactions to the people around it. The idea is to install this new pyramid in New York City, where the millions of visitors would make the structure spin endlessly.

To read more about the tower, visit Wired.

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