Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Lucy H.G.


Metathesis is a dual installation of a video construct and an on-site adjustment of outdoor lighting. Each instance of Metathesis underlines the human aspects of technology.

The video construct is a hybrid of the biological and the mundane. Two lamps are connected through a twisted tube. Beads of light flow from one lamp into the other and back again, reflecting a human circulatory system. The technology is meditative, with light particles streaming back and forth. The video imagery is constantly powering up and down - a symbiotic movement that allows light to move from one lamp to the other. With an electric interface of animated particles, a new science describes the inner workings of a common desk lamp.

In the outdoor light installation, transparencies depicting the cellular structure of lamps transform streetlights into X-ray machines. The imagery is the result of crossing human biology with light anatomy - the graphic splicing of a human nerve system with a network of electric lights. This instance of Metathesis posits the life of circuitry while making a parallel between connectivity and human connections.


Lucy H. G. posits scientific theorems through elaborate video constructs. Light molecules flow back and forth like karma, and photosynthesis occurs over dinner. Throughout her work, Lucy H. G. explores a range of scientific phenomena, from time to the molecular structure of water to the physics of flight. Yet mundane rituals, like eating dinner or bathing, become essential parts of her collection of physics. In the end, hers is the science of the ordinary, which, up close, appears extraordinary. Lucy H. G. has exhibited both nationally and internationally and most recently is the recipient of a Durfee artist completion grant.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.