darkSky (2009) by Tiffany Holmes
darkSky is an interactive installation by Tiffany Holmes which presents a series of salvaged lamps that visitors are encouraged to turn on and off, and the resulting energy consumption is presented as a real time visualization on a single plasma screen. This exhibit was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, from April 4-26, 2009 and at Art Chicago from April 30-May 4, 2009.
The interactive installation consists of three rows of lamps, which the artist invites viewers to switch on or off to create the look and feel of the work. A data logger dynamically monitors the flow of electricity through the circuits in the gallery. When all of the lamps are on, the light from the illuminated bulbs
overwhelms the space and transforms the animated fireflies on the plasma monitors into dim stars in a night sky. Turning all of the lights off produces an increase in the velocity and number of fireflies. Through visitor choice, the artwork consumes large or small quantities of electricity and immediately visualizes this consumption. darkSky aims to make tangible the often difficult-to-grasp issues of the aesthetic, economic, and environmental impact
of an individual’s energy choices.