Fluoroscape / 2006
Los Angeles, CA
32 Square Meters
A display of the Solidity of Light
Artificial light, now more than ever considered to be a building material on par with concrete and steel, is our environment's most malleable medium, capable of being projected, deflected, colorized, and animated, just to name a few ways in which light may be manipulated in a constructed environment. Due to its economy and long life, the exposed fluorescent strip light (FSL), an element used in every supermarket, school cafeteria, and office space across the global landscape, is the most ubiquitous element in this environmental discourse. In this project, we have found new graphic, organizational, and structural possibilities for the fluorescent tube. The 'Fluoroscape©' installation attempts to merge these new possibilities for the FSL into a structure that further elaborates on the atmospheric effects created by a unique arrangement and density of these 4ft white glowing lines.
Bartco Lighting of Huntington Beach, CA, the country's premier manufacturer of custom fluorescent fixtures, provided the knowledge and facilities to produce our vision for the piece. Since the FSL is the basic building component of 'Fluoroscape©', we worked with Bartco to design a custom powder-coated metal ballast box, which effectively transformed the object into a slimmer profile revealing the structural properties of break form sheet metal and the degree to which this shaped profile can change the entire formal quality of the piece. All 224 lights are used as a field (the organizational) of stiffening members (structural) and dashed white lines (the graphic). These are held within seven laser cut, powder coated 3/16" thick steel formers (commonly known as ribs) that produce a series of different closed curves, all of which are filled and skinned with the FSL elements. All together, these elements articulate the conceptual ambition of the project: to produce a blinding, over lit object whose geometric finiteness is undermined by the tremendous glare and seemingly infinite falloff of light.