Fast Forward Light Levels

Light From Tomorrow, a new work by British artists Thomson & Craighead that will be presented at ISEA 2006, comes to viewers courtesy of the future. A light sensor cradled in a waterproof container near the Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa sends data across the dateline. This information represents the light levels in Tonga, which are then interpreted by a specially-constructed light box in a gallery in San Jose. The data is sent in nearly real-time, and the luminosity of the light box reflects changes in light levels. The telematic reach of the internet permits gallery visitors in California to experience the intensity of light that is to exist tomorrow. This glowing rectangle of light, affixed to a gallery wall, offers an elegant representation of information, made poetic by the reversal of time. Better than any meteorologist, superior to a crystal ball, the Light From Tomorrow project permits viewers the magical experience of feeling that they are able to leap through time, thanks to a digital intervention by two intrepid artists. Follow the daily progress of the project by reading Thomson & Craighead's expedition diary online. - Michelle Kasprzak