A startling artwork made up of blue light will be formally unveiled on Tuesday 6 October at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Designed by San Francisco based sculptor Michael Brown, and called Bluerain, the artwork has been installed on the southwest-facing wall of the Lionel Robbins Building, housing one of the largest libraries in the world devoted to the economic and social sciences. Made up of 23,520 blue light emitting diodes, it reflects the searches being carried on in the Library.
'Observed from a distance the artwork looks like shimmering cascades of light, or blue rain, but on closer observation it becomes clear that the blue rain is made up of words,' said Michael Brown. 'These reflect research being carried out within the Library and include online searches as well as titles of materials being checked in and out of the Library.'
The artwork has been made possible as a result of a gift from Peter Boesch and Darril Hudson, an LSE alumnus.
Michael Brown is a well-respected sculptor, designer and installation artist in the United States. His large-scale public artworks include three sculptural clocks commissioned in Dallas as well as numerous sculptures across communities in California. He has worked with museums throughout the United States to design interactive experiences to make science more accessible.
'Bluerain follows in the tradition of my interactive work,' he said. 'It is designed to be an interactive experience, the blue light drawing people to the artwork and the realisation that the diodes reflect the research within.'
In keeping with LSE policy to ensure energy efficiency, the entire artwork uses less power than a 100-watt light bulb. The expected lifespan of each diode is 100,000 hours. The diodes should last at least 20 years and the artwork has been designed to withstand rain and storms – it even has its own lightning conductor.
Jean Sykes, chief information officer, said: 'We are delighted that this generous gift has enabled us to install this wonderful artwork. It will, quite literally, bring research searches to life.'
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LSE does not teach arts or music, but it does have a vibrant cultural side which includes weekly music concerts, an orchestra and choir with their own professional conductors and numerous student art societies. LSE Arts is a three year funded initiative within the School which aims to not only present high quality cultural events for students, staff and public, but to also explore and nurture closer links between the arts and social sciences through a rolling programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks and events. Through this work the School hopes to provide a different and somewhat unique perspective on the arts and the social sciences.
Explore LSE's arts and music and discover the School's cultural talent and diversity at http://www.lse.ac.uk/arts
10 August 2009