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Using wasted energy, Richard Box was able to get over a thousand fluorescent tubes powered by low overhead power lines.
Richard Box, artist-in-residence at Bristol University’s physics department, got the idea for Field (2004) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 1,301 fluorescent tubes powered only by the electric fields generated by low overhead powerlines ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ after a conversation with a friend. ‘He was telling me he used to play with a fluorescent tube under the pylons by his house,’ says the artist. ‘He said it lit up like a light sabre.’ Box decided to see if he could fill a field with tubes lit by the ‘waste’ energy emanating from powerlines. Box denies that he aimed to draw attention to the potential dangers of powerlines, ‘For me, it was just the amazement of taking something that’s invisible and making it visible,’ he says.
Another one of his projects.
Walter de Maria’s The Lightening Field is permanently installed in the desert at Quemado, New Mexico, and was commissioned by the Dia Art Foundation, who run the site and provide accommodation for visitors. The work consists of hundreds of stainless steel rods projecting from the ground to a uniform height of around six metres (20 feet). Rows of 20 rods extend for one mile, while rows of 16 extend for a kilometre, making a square grid of standard and metric proportions. The work is designed to attract spectacular lightening strikes. (photo: John Cliett/Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© Dia Art Foundation)