ART
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ECO ART: Field of beams

by , 05/02/09
filed under: Art

richard box, field of beams, electric magnetic fields influence, environmental art, eco art, human radiation effects group, appliance radiation, cell phone radiation, electronic radiation

It’s still the subject of (extensive) debate whether the electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) produced by appliances, cell phones and high-voltage wires contribute to human illness and cancer. For an academic overview, check out the  Human Radiation Effects Group, by Professor Denis Henshaw of the University of Bristol. For a visual illustration, look no further than FIELD by artist Richard Box. It’s a grid of fluorescent light bulbs planted into the ground beneath a series of power lines. When the bulbs glow, it’s not because of a series of buried wires, or a battery– they light up using the ghost power radiating from the wires overhead.

richard box, field of beams, electric magnetic fields influence, environmental art, eco art, human radiation effects group, appliance radiation, cell phone radiation, electronic radiation

The luminous power of the installation is powered by the weather and passing humans– either of which can make a series of bulbs flicker or power out– but otherwise the bulbs give off a steady glow, come sunset. Planted in the field are a total of 1,301 ready-made fluorescent bulbs. Artist Box came up with the idea for the installation after a conversation with a friend who played with such bulbs under power lines as a kid and found that the tubes lit up like light sabres.

The effect is other-worldly, almost post-apocalyptic. It also leaves one wondering: what kind of effect could the power to light 1,301 bulbs have on my body? Which is the point: Box created the installation as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Bristol’s Physics department, where he worked together with Henshaw. Maybe the fields cause leukemia; or maybe they don’t, but these men are working to shed light on the possible effects that radiation might have on humans.

+ Richard Box

+ Human Radiation Effects Group

richard box, field of beams, electric magnetic fields influence, environmental art, eco art, human radiation effects group, appliance radiation, cell phone radiation, electronic radiation

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5 Comments

  1. emcollinson January 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    “For an academic overview, check out the Human Radiation Effects Group, by Professor Denis Henshaw of the University of Bristol. For a visual illustration, look no further than FIELD by artist Richard Box”

  2. matitina June 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    hey! it’s exactly the idea of the art installation “lighting fields”, W. De Maria

  3. heisnamshantanu May 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    i use to wonder, about all this radio waves n magnetic fields n imagine them passing through us. It sometimes use to scary me. Now i am more scared :)

  4. thejehosephat May 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I’ve tried doing this at high voltage wires near my house but it doesn’t seem to work… Any clues as to what I should do to make it work? :P

  5. TomLGP May 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    How far away from the high power lines does this work?

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