online:9 august 2014
modified: 9 august 2014
august 2014 searchlight to heaven
from earth towards cosmos
...a seagull flies close to a column of electric light... pointing
straight up to the low clouds and beyond...
...from a little
park next to the Houses of Parliament... where (in the supposed words of
Lord Grey the british foreign minister in 1914) 'the lamps are going out
all over Europe'...
...and nearby a single candle light was
thought of as the last to remain lit in Britain over the tomb of an
unknown soldier (in Westminster Abbey nearby)...
this is almost too much symbolism where this light beam alone is so
profoundly connective of earth and cosmos... in which war memories are
more things of sorrow... than of ceremony)...
...but next to
the light column is the vacant plinth of August Rodin's sculpture of the
burghers of Calais... a gift of forgiveness i believe after a war crime
against citizens of that much fought-over city ... (but today the
sculpture is on loan to an exhibition somewhere else)...
to return to the lights... i move closer to see the source of all this:
49 powerful electric lights (LEDs) pointing upwards in an open
grid through which several hundred people are freely wandering in order
to look at the lights in metal drums (about head high)... and from which
blueish rays project upwards into the stratosphere... or illuminate clouds
at a lower level... and many people lie on the ground to look upwards...
...and when walking among the lights one hears electric sound
(or cosmic music) that is directed inwards to the light beam...
...but the warm light attracts hundreds of insects... including large
butterflies and moths... some of which fly upwards in the beam like
...and some descend to the lights themselves...
where they burn and die on the glass fronts of the lights...
...a combination of death and
life... some actual and some symbolic...
...and now a helicopter flies very close to the beam... its rotor catching
the projected light so that it forms a disc or drum of light... perhaps resembling a flying saucer...
...the whole thing is the idea a light and sound sculptor Ryoji
Ikeda who calls it Spectra... and who reveals yet again how (in the pure
media of electric light and sound) it is possible to rise towards the
...(even if funded by a national lottery and supported by the
mayor of London... and by Art Angel and other art organisations)
...yes... it remains always possible... even amongst our
earthly wars and politics... to rise to something physical that is also
© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 john chris jones
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