National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland, 2018
Horizons is a kinetic light installation that explores our emotional connection with technology in relation to time and space. Living in a world of acceleration and designed for distraction, the work is inherently designed to accentuate our growing need for repose and presence in the moment of experience. Acting as a vessel for meditation, the installation operates on its own time. It commands the room, subverting our expectations of technology as something at our service while also installing personification in the machine. In turn, our experience is subservient to the power of technology; it is the machine that is in control of our pathological situation.
In this work, the movement of light represents our past and our future. Complimentary colours blue and amber light travel vertically along independent time paths. As they intersect an artificial white horizon line is created in the space. This fleeting moment of white light symbolises the value of presence and clarity in the now. Ubiquitous of modern life, the work makes deliberate use of fluorescent light and its acute spectrum to affect our circadian rhythm, thus further disrupting our perception of time.
There is a duality in how Horizons is perceived and experienced. At first glance, one witnesses an evolving dialogue of coloured light, yet there is an honesty in illustrating the mechanics behind how the effect is produced. The work combines analog and digital technologies to create an immersive installation. Code transmits information to the stepper motors and lighting, bringing the work to life to produce an ethereal presence. Herein lies the interaction between man, machine and embodied experience. Aesthetically, the installation’s form is derived from the industrial design process required to produce its kinetic purpose.
Sonically, the motors are tuned to the inherent frequencies of the room, thus acoustically engaging the space into action. The installation performs as an instrument of sound and light. Its hollow frame acts as resonating soundboard amplifying its mechanics. Driven by an autonomous object, harmonic intervals are produced, evoking an evolving musical sensibility.
Dimensions: 1.6m L x 0.8m W x 2.2m H
Media: stainless steel, brass, perspex, fluorescent light, colour filters, stepper motors, lead screws, electrical components, code, control unit
Curator: Nora O’Murchu
Photography: Sebastian Kite, Ben Evans James
Designer: Alex Kendall White
Electrical Engineer: George Waller