Before we even considered the light bulb, CLOUD was a study of light – its magical ability to create ephemeral space, its resonance in the darkness, and its societal importance. On a physiological level, human beings are drawn to light as moths to a flame. While the sun is an origin of all life on earth, artificial light couldn’t exist without the innovations of man. As a people-made entity, it is evidence of civilization, a source of clarity at night, and a beacon of safety. We use artificial light in cities as a language (green means go), to the point where it is now socially intuitive. The value of artificial light is especially pronounced in places where electric light has been lost, or never existed at all.
Of course, when Wayne Garrett and I built CLOUD, we did not intend to spend the next two years thinking about the social effects of light on people. CLOUD was a community project, constructed with the help of friends and the kindness of strangers. Drawing from cartoon aesthetics and the vast Alberta skies, the sculpture was constructed from 1500 lbs of steel and 6000 incandescent light bulbs (new and burnt out).
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