For both practical and occult reasons, most Greek temples
face east to utilize light from the rising sun. At night, classical ruins are lit
from below. This lighting scheme signals a familiar idea of monument. But to
me, these monuments are rendered unfamiliar by the orange electric lighting. The
shadows are in the wrong places. It is unsettling, like a face lit from below
with a flashlight during a campfire horror tale.
I wanted to design something that reversed the relationship
between electric lighting and Greek temples: structures that are designed to be
activated by electric light at night the same way Greek temples are activated
by the sun. To translate the phenomenological experience of the Parthenon at
sunrise to my project, I need to add the element of time.
began with the idea to place a spotlight above the island of Aegina programmed
to turn 360-degrees over one year.
light grazes an area of Aegina’s terrain, and its movement illustrates the time
and date like the hands on a massive clock.
Four large, glass totems mark the locations on the island
illuminated during the night of solstices and equinoxes, celebrating the
changing of seasons. At precisely midnight, the near-perpendicular angle of
incidence of the electric light lines up perfectly with the glass totem,
causing it to cast its most vibrant shadow. It is like an eclipse at midnight.
Once constructed, I imagine Calendar will continue to
generate activity in the light’s path. By assigning specific dates to areas of
land, this project invites the residents of Aegina to imagine interventions
inspired by the Greek calendar and time-based events.
Some possible futures include:
A long, linear amphitheater the
length of a Calendar week constructed
for a theater festival in July. The spotlight provides the stage
Polychromatic glass tubes built on
for the annual pistachio festival in September. The tubes convert the bright
white beam into a colorful light show, creating a festival ambiance.
A Cypress tree planted to
commemorate the date of a loved one’s death.