A pretty strong formal statement? Or philosophical/metaphysical?

But that's not how it's being spun. You know how the art world is, especially the YBA art world. If there is a piece hugely famous from the art magazines that can be namechecked and given a "new, political" spin, it will be hyped unto death. I think they flip through the art books over there saying things like "have we deconstructed De Maria yet?" And sure enough, the press release for this project (thanks for linking to it, Jim, so I can kvetch) says: "The bulbs are 'planted' across the site at the foot of an electricity pylon, and pick up the waste emission from the overhead power line. [...] Professor Denis Henshaw, whose study of the health effects of close proximity to power lines is internationally recognised, commenting on FIELD, said: 'It's very creative and it illustrates graphically that power lines do indeed have these electrical fields around them. Even when bulbs are on the way out, and start flashing or flickering in their sockets, they still light up under the power lines.'"

That's the hook, that's the story. But if you wrote "it makes mysterious electricity visible" or "makes a strong formal/perceptual statement, following the path trod years ago by the artist Walter De Maria, only with manmade rather than natural energy" you'd get written about in the Bristol newspaper. Waste electricity from power lines is still a huge, hot button topic, so it's more likely to be picked up by major media with that angle. Sorry to be a smart ass here, but someone needs to say this. The piece looks lovely but it owes a big debt to someone else's work, and the science around it appears to be more unsettled than unsettling.

- tom moody 2-23-2004 7:29 pm

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