Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let there be light

I'm BACK and with a piece very close to my heart.

"A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning." - Benjamin Disraeli

Indiana University Light Totem - Rob Shakespeare

This 70-foot-tall light installation by IU Professor Rob Shakespeare was first installed in 2007 in honor of the Indiana University Art Museum's 25th anniversary. Originally only supposed to be up for 3 months, the totem and its technicolor light shows wow'd the Bloomington community so much, they extended its stay for three years. In February 2010, the IU Board of Trustees approved for the totem to become a permanent installation on campus. This past summer, Shakespeare and his crew disassembled the piece for a rework, completely with new bulbs and new shows.

The piece uses energy efficient LED lights and runs in cycles of varying rhythms and patterns. Shakespeare can reprogram the shows at any time. This summer, Shakespeare also made it possible for the totem to sense when people are around and light up accordingly. The totem even has its own Facebook Page where you can get descriptions of the light shows and watch videos of its magic.

The following pictures were taken by the talented and exceptionally handsome Matt James. And I'm pretty sure they were taken with his phone, so that should be considered a testament to his skills. :)

"To love beauty is to see light." - Victor Hugo

One of the best things about the light totem is what a hit it is with everyone on the campus. Students love to come visit it at night, lay on their backs with their feet up against the building, and watch the lights. Visitors to the totem really bond over the experience.

This is an exceptional installation that brings the community together and gives every viewer a special memory to walk away with. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this institution and to experience this work of art every single day.

"Love is not consolation. It is light." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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