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Sodium Sun

Designer: Jenni Kääriäinen

Year: 2013

City: Helsinki

Country: Finland

Concept Description

Did you notice the moment when the street lights were turned on? Sodium Sun rises above the city and the settlement just as twilight falls. It is the Sun of the night sky and it lights up daily everywhere around the world and divides the night from the day until the arrival of the following morning. This piece is constructed of a certain type of light that have been seen by generations and hence been imprinted in people’s memories. These sort of low pressure sodium lamps are no longer manufactured nor developed and new installations are rarely ever made. The low pressure sodium lamp represents the artificial street light at night. I’ve desired to capture the essence of it in this work of art before it becomes part of history. As we move towards a trend of using even more and more white light we are actually witnessing a huge change in aesthetics in our entire living environment. The piece is an installation constructed of several low pressure sodium lamps and the lights go on and off according to an organic flow. The duration of the loop is a total of 30 minutes. Viewers may stand up by Sodium Sun for perhaps only a brief moment but they might just as well take time to bathe in its light for a longer moment. On one hand Sodium Sun may be seen as something that is part of an urban environment. On the other hand it is a hypnotic sound scenery and the documental photographs of street lights and their way into the history of illuminated art invite people to step closer and to take a closer look. Sodium Sun was commissioned by City of Helsinki for Lux Helsinki 2013 event by city of Helsinki and attracted lot of media attention both in Finland and abroad. Sodium Sun will be presented in Glow Festival (Eindhoven) September 2013.

Photographer: Hannu Iso-Oja, Sakari Viika