The artist who brought us the Political Lamp (here) has another intriguing and unsettling creation: the Earthquake Lamp. Much like his work on the Political Lamp, French artist known only as ParseError explores art, design, technology, and science through this fascinating object. Linked to data from IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), the Earthquake Lamp responds in real time to earthquakes from around the world with pulsing lights and an unsettling sort of rumble. As an object, it’s really quite beautiful. But the meaningful, connected aspect elevates it well beyond just a decorative piece. The technology is so nuanced, its light and sound output changes according to the location and magnitude of the earthquake, varying the color and duration of the pulsations, and the power of the sound. Ironically, (what appears to be) its glass tube design looks quite fragile, so in the event of a local earthquake, one may be left with a pile of glass. Either way, ParseError has done it again… walking that line between anxiety and fascination. And evoking emotion is what art is all about.
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