Light Up the Sky

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I heard from a friend who works in fashion that Ralph Lauren is aiming to 'brand the sky.' The firmament may not remain free from rampant commodification for long but at least artists are up there also, bringing the atmosphere to life in novel ways. Case in point, 'Amodal Suspension,' a large-scale installation by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to take place from 1-24 November in Yamaguchi, Japan. Project participants will send messages via cell phones or web browsers connected to www.amodal.net. Each message will be encoded as a unique set of flashes and redirected into Yamaguchi's celestial sphere by robotically-controlled lights. Lozano-Hemmer has engineered the project such that each transmitted message will be translated automatically between Japanese and English, acknowledging what the press release calls the 'irony of globalisation.' The clouds of data will indeed offer a number of coded messages, and besides visualizing the traffic of information, they also look stunningly beautiful. -- Rachel Greene