dima
  • Eclipse

    Eclipse was an installation in the space between my office and the hallway in the art school where I am an instructor. The installation coincided with a full lunar eclipse and the initial intent was to draw attention to the upcoming celestial event, it became an experiment about awareness and myth. The light was only visible from a few angles. In fact, it was very intense at select positions; it spilled out from between the inner and outer circles and caused a brilliant flash of light. Admittedly, as someone who does not usually pay attention to lunar events, I had no idea that the lunar eclipse was to happen. It was purely by accident that I found out. It actually surprised me how few people cared as I began asking around. It occurred to me that an event such as this would have been looked at with wonder or terror (depending on things I only have cursory understanding about) in the not too distant past. Signifying the mythical and portraying the earth's ongoing march through time would have been important factors to previous societies but now, it seemed, no one was paying attention at all - not even me. The power of the event had all but vanished. The mythologies of the eclipse had been explained away with science and overshadowed by NASA's atomic clock. Below the eclipse, I placed a small ceramic bowl of pure black carbon powder. It is honestly the blackest substance I have encountered. Almost no light escapes it and it would poetically (and literally) absorb light from the eclipse. This seemed an appropriate echo to the brilliant flash of light caused by the eclipse and a way to activate the space in which the installation was to reside - the busy student hallway. I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone kicked it. The black of the carbon spilled out of the bowl and on to the floor in a surprisingly similar way that the light of the eclipse shone through the glass of the window. I was able to observe the installation from the hall as I went from class to class. Some people stopped, few people asked, lots of people squinted and recoiled. It was only after the lunar eclipse was mentioned in the media following the event that most picked up on what they were seeing in the basement window at school. Then it was beautiful.