Lightbulb to Simulate Moonlight
London, UK: Bookworks, 2008
25 x 16 x 11 cm.
Edition of 10
Katie Paterson’s research-based projects often see her collaborating with specialists from the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, genetics, and nanotechnology. For the installation work Lightbulb to Simulate Moon Light, Paterson worked with engineers to determine the spectral measurements of moonlight. They took light-meter readings, analyzed wavelengths, and found an appropriate surface coating in order to produce a bulb that emits rays approximating the light of a full moon.
Paterson commissioned OSRAM Licht AG, a multi-national lighting manufacturer based in Munich, to manufacture the 28 W bulbs with a lifespan of 2,000 hours. The work is exhibited and sold as a wooden crate containing 289 bulbs, which corresponds to the average human life expectancy of 66 years (based on 2008 estimates). Each time the work (produced in an edition of nine copies) is exhibited - with a single bulb burning in the gallery - the lifespan of the artwork is shortened.
This version from Bookworks contains two of the bulbs in a cloth-covered, letter-pressed box.