Illusion III is a light sculpture of nylon Chinese lanterns. Fading and glimmering, they are a floating network of lanterns below a canopy of two impossibly large oak trees. Originally inspired by images of the Thailand Lantern Festival, it is the third light sculpture interpretation produced by Eyetrap. The light sequences are programmed using off the shelf hardware and software from Light O Rama, typically used in animated Christmas displays.
With the learnings from the experiment of PVC Balloons for the Voodoo Festival learned, Kirsha Kaechele, Art Curator for Life is Art Foundation in New Orleans and I set out to recreate a version of the light sculpture in a format that would be cheap, durable and maintenance free.
I sourced a variety of nylon lanterns that would endure weather and crowds under the gorgeous live oaks of the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. Kirsha was concerned using common Chinese lanterns would be simply decorative, without an original visual, and it remains a valid concern. My hope is with the custom built light sequences, we bring something memorable to the visitors of the Botanical Gardens.
The technical challenges of keeping air in delicate PVC or latex balloonsare eliminated to ensure the project durability of at least two months. With no worry of balloons popping, setup, with the help of Moe, Pierre, Neils and Paul, was a much smoother experience.