This light installation responds to ambient radioactivity in its environment.


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I made it by connecting 92 Geiger counters to LED tube lamps. Each time radiation and radioactive particles are detected by the Geiger counters, they click and cause the lamps to flash momentarily. The lights are arranged based on the positions of electrons in a Uranium atom.

The project is a response to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. I wanted to create a place where we can reflect on the impacts, both positive and negative, of humanity’s use of atomic technologies. Also, to remind us that radiation and radioactivity are naturally occurring at the creation and continuation of life as we know it.

The project took me six months of planning, designing, and assembling to complete. It’s currently on view at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY through April 12th, 2015. I hope to take this art work on tour internationally afterwards.

The most difficult part of the project was doing the custom aluminum fabrication all on my own. Thanks go to Josh Hadar and Tim Larsen for teaching me how to weld, and for letting me work in their metal shops.

More info: phillipstearns.com

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