An interactive light installation for an audience of one, 2001

The installation view

Bruce Gilchrist & Jo Joelson's projects are instead laboratories in action that pose more questions than they answer. Despite an appropriation of scientific language, tools and methodologies in their projects, there is as much shamanism as science going on. Their projects are instruments of the heart rather than instruments of reason. What they present us with is "not scientific evidence but poetic debris".

In August 2001 artists Bruce Gilchrist, Jo Joelson and photographer Anthony Oliver travelled to remote North East Greenland to conduct experiments relating to light and physiology during the transition from 24 hour daylight to the twilight onset of winter. They returned with scientific data, photographic and video documentation. The Polaria fieldwork, driven by solar power alone, has given birth to a 'self illuminating’ machine, inspired by post industrial concerns over the quality of the working environment and recent medical research into the beneficial effects of polarised, full-spectrum light.

This interactive virtual daylight installation presents 'light in waiting’. Each participant enters the cube, sits on a translucent chair and completes an electrical circuit. The individual’s physiology triggers a virtual daylight state particular to them and representative of the arctic light. This experience evokes contemplation of the subtle relationships between body, mind and light; real, represented and imagined. Anthony Oliver's large format images of the arctic landscape and light frozen in time are suspended in the surrounding space. These images complement the dynamic possibilities of the virtual daylight at the core of the installation.

Excerpt from www.londonfieldworks.com


[Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist are co-directors of London Fieldworks which includes experiential, interactive and cross-disciplinary installation works. They were awarded a Millenium Fellowship in 2000 by the British Association/Royal Society for the "Syzygy" project.]