Using light as an sculptural material, Lightkeeper is an analog, light-based installation drawing from lighthouse lenses and analog projection technologies to create spectral waves of light and a moon clock beamed onto the urban porch of Aitken Place Park. Taking its name from the keepers who maintain lighthouses, the installation speaks to light as a medium for sending messages across vast dark spaces, wayfinding, signalling danger or change ahead. In an urban environment, LIGHT KEEPER takes on new meaning against the metropolitan light of Toronto, using analog projection to reference natural phenomenon: waves and the moon. The reflective steel tower references a prism in form, becoming an obelisk, a beacon from which projections emanate (not unlike a light house). Rolling rainbow waves beam across Aitken Place Park, interacting with weather on the shores of Lake Ontario by changing the speed of their motion in accordance with the wind. The moon clock changes with the phases of the moon in the night sky, which can often not be seen above the dense skyline and sky glow of Toronto. Speaking to complex interspaces between natural + manmade, wayfinding + placemaking, environmental + urban, LIGHT KEEPER attempts to capture and keep the ephemeral light that cities threaten to overwhelm.
The artwork was designed for the shape and size of Aitken Place Park’s urban porch. Waves of light reference waves in the nearby Lake Ontario. The Moon Clock corelates to phases of the moon in the sky above. This artwork was designed with the functionality of the park in mind, as a contemplative space for wandering, walking, sitting, and being. LIGHT KEEPER was designed for Aitken Place Park and interacts with the surrounding environmental conditions (the waves across the lake, the moon’s phases in the sky above, the shape of the park as a projection surface, etc).
The waves of rainbow light washing across the tarmac will encourage interaction from viewers, who may take turns jumping over bands of light as they roll across the plaza, or chase rainbow waves down the pavement. The moon projections will act like a spotlight. The public may choose to observe the light passively, or interact with the light actively, using it like a spotlight. Because the structural prism tower bearing the analog projectors is at the edge of a planter, viewers will likely sit beneath the structure, looking up at the objects emanating light.
More information on this project can be found at incandescentcloud.com/2019/12/09/light-keeper/
Location Aitken Place Park, Toronto, ON
Size 37" x 38" x 23.5'
Studio North Project Team Mark Erickson (design), Matthew Kennedy (design), Brighton Parks (technologist), Nicolas Hamel (parametric design, prototyping, & drawing)
Collaborators Caitlind Brown + Wayne Garrett
Status Completed September 2019
Photos by Caitlind Brown