As part of the recent Tokyo Hotaru Festival, 100,000 illuminated blue LEDs were released in the Sumida River. The massive installation of solar-powered spheres was meant to mimic a swarm of fireflies that twisted and bobbed along the river by moonlight. For those of you worried about pollution or safety, the lights were later caught downstream by giant nets. See much more over at Spoon & Tamago. (photos by jeremy v, makure, and ajpscs)
Photographer Lee Eunyeol constructs elaborate light installations that appear as if the night sky was flipped upside down with glowing stars and planets nested inside tall grass or between deep earthen cracks. Though Lee does not have a website I can quote his artist statement I received via email:
Starry night expresses private spaces given by night and various emotions that are not able to be defined and described in the space. I’ve chosen analogue type for the expression which attempts to install electric bulbs in an objet to be expressed using back space of night by taking advantage of huge studio. There are two spaces in photographs. One is a space before electric bulbs of familiar landscape are installed and the other is a space after electric bulbs expressed by dispersing personal emotion are installed. Unified light from these two spaces generates a mysterious landscape.
Eunyeol will be showing this series of photos at the Gana Art Space in Seoul starting this week. I want to thank @jealouqity for helping get in touch with the gallery for this post, and if you liked this, also check out the work of Barry Underwood.
Luminaris is a recent stop motion short from Argentine director Juan Pablo Zaramella featuring some delightful sequences using shadows, lightbulbs, and marbles. The film tells the story of a man living in a world controlled and timed by light and the plan he hatches to escape. Luminaris won the Audience Award and Fipresci Award at Annecy 2011, and was included in the Oscars shortlist for Best Animated Short. (via reddit)
Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin constructs stunning (if not slightly disconcerting) anatomical light structures that are fully hollow and filled with ionized krypton, causing them to glow similar to a neon light. The glass skeleton above, Embodiment, is my jaw-dropping favorite of this series. The piece took over 1,000 hours of work over a two year period and is actually built from 10 separate units of glass formed from borosilicate glass tubing. The process of creating something like this is unbelievably painstaking as Franklin shares via email:
Every glass seal has to be perfect, and this piece contains hundreds. Everywhere one tube joins another, or a tube terminates, glass tubes were sealed together. They have to be perfect in order to preserve the luminosity of the krypton. If one rogue molecule gets inside the void of the glass tubing it can eventually contaminate the gas and it will no longer glow. There are times when the holes in the seals are so small that you cannot actually see them with your eyes without the help of a leak detector. Once the glass pieces are ready to get filled with gas, I pull a high vacuum while the glass is hot in order to evacuate any dust or water vapor from the interior surface until there are literally no molecules inside the void of the glass. Then the krypton can be introduced and the glass sealed off. It’s an extremely tedious process, one I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with.
Anatomical Neon is a series of blown glass lights by North Wales-based artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones meant to focus attention on how energy is used by the human body. Describing the four pieces via her website she says:
Brain Wave conveys neurological processing activity as a kinetic and sensory, physical phenomena through its display of moving electric plasma. Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. Heart is a representation of the human heart illuminated by still red neon gas. Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.
Artist Barry Underwood photographs wonderfully mysterious light installations that he installs on-site in forests, mountainsides, or near lakes and rivers. Via his artist statement:
By reading the landscape and altering the vista through lights and photographic effects, I transform everyday scenes into unique images. Light and color alter the perception of space, while defamiliarizing common objects. Space collapses, while the lights that I install appear as intrusions and interventions. This combination renders the forms in the landscape abstract. Inspired by cinema, land art, and contemporary painting, the resulting photographs are both surreal and familiar. They suggest a larger narrative, and yet that narrative remains elusive and mystifying.