This installation began with a spatial proposition – a 48’-0” long, rectangular tube set askew within three rooms of the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Shaughnessy House.
In the first instance, the work established a heightened sense of spatial immediacy and intensity inside the tube - by wrapping it’s floors, ceilings and walls in coloured reflective glass.
A single line of fluorescent tubes extended the entire length of the installation. It was positioned along its centre and within its envelope. The lighting of the installation was placed on timers. At determined intervals, the florescent tubes were turned off and the lighting outside the volume was turned on. This allowed views through the tube from within, while disallowing views through from the outside.
When the rooms within which the installation sat were blackened, the inside of the tube was enveloped by a dizzying play of reflections that multiplied perceived spatial dimensions. However, when viewed from the blackened spaces outside, the tube glowed like a transparent lantern.
This set up a social spectacle of an unusual order. Like fish in a bowl, those participating in the experience of the tube from within, became unwitting performers for those in the blackened space outside. But when the lighting conditions were reversed, so did the aforementioned social spectacle, transforming spectators into performers and performers into spectators.
Artificial Light demonstrated how the surfaces of floors, walls and ceilings can be dematerialized by a carefully orchestrated play of artificial light and coloured, reflective glass; and in so doing collapse and destabilise our perception of the physical boundaries of space.