Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Images: James Carpenter Design Associates.

Images: James Carpenter Design Associates.

Embodied Light

James Carpenter

Embodied Light invites visitors to engage thoughtfully and physically with three suspended optical devices that are able to heighten an individual’s awareness of the informational content of natural light. This thesis postulates that it is the presence of light illuminating the millions of surfaces and textures of the environment that triggers our perceptual and physiological responses. In addition to the transitions of dawn or evening twilight, the mid-day brightness of daylight, and the qualities of light that persist within darkness, light is also embedded in our memory and dreams: light resides within us.

The three lenses redirect and project varied qualities of environmental light onto a diffuse glass surface. The result is an overlay of crisp images and diffused light, movement, and shadow. The EPFL Pavilions entry foyer has an eastern solar exposure, and observations throughout the day present unique and individually rich experiences of changing light qualities. In the morning, direct sunlight and shadows from outside will be animated and overlaid with the bright landscape beyond, while at sunset indirect light from the west will present an array of ambient colours reaching to the horizon. The path of the sun and moon are captured in the projected image when viewed at certain times of the day and night each month, bringing attention to the connected rhythms of biological and celestial time. The layers of Embodied Light reveal varied aspects of light/time which we as individuals experience, absorb, respond to, and cherish.