Light is history

Karthikeya Acharya, Jussi Mikkonen, Samir Bhowmik

Abstract


Light is History is a collective energy consumption display artifact that was installed in a public square in Helsinki in November 2012. The lamps of the installation, made from old recycled electricity meters were designed to function as bright therapy lights. Sixteen participating families from in and around the Kallio neighbourhood published their daily energy use on a web portal. The difference in their daily energy reading was used to determine the brightness of individual lights that was assigned to each family on the light installation. Each of the lamps brightened if the corresponding family’s energy use was lesser than the previous day and otherwise inverted. The participants also provided images and textual narratives of their own electrical artifacts from their homes and this was displayed with their corresponding lamp on the installation, providing a glimpse of contemporary domestic life with electricity. A shared and collaborative energy art space was generated as a place for urban dialogue of private energy use and public well-being.

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