Jetée des Pâquis – Geneva, SWITZERLAND

2004, Light installation

This light installation is designed as a place where the body can be visually and physiologically immersed in light, where electrical energy in the form of constant flashes projecting two lights in complementary colours reveals a tree or trees, causing a sensation of visual dizziness in the viewer. The location of the plane trees on the Jetée des Pâquis in the middle of the lake can be seen as the central point of a 360° panorama. It lends itself to producing this dizzying sensation. Vertical rows of flashbulbs, like mangroves of light—with virtual roots—reveal the trees in endless sequences of absence and presence. And in a flash, they move vertically along a line. The light seems like a shower of luminous photons (intense, dense, instantaneous, disparate) transforming our visual perception; its mobility and its chromatic qualities catch the eye.

The feeling of dizziness is caused by two intense complementary colours such as orange and blue. This special combination of colours forms a significant chromatic contrast that is the origin of the feeling of dizziness. The four plane trees arranged in a random rectangle form various geometrical patterns according to the visitor’s viewpoint. The vertical rows of lights switch between visual planes and cause fascination, disorientation and confusion. Visual dizziness is an illusion that the environment is moving; it is a perception of instability. This mental projection of an illusion of movement is an experience of the physical and perceptive presence of the viewer.

Steel cables, 4 Watt lamps, electrical cables, random switches.