Firefly Light Sculpture
by The Mark Yurkiw Group
"As soon as the sun disappears and the moon begins to rise, hundreds of
flickering lights appear, dancing over the landscape to an unheard ancient
rhythm. Meet the lightning bug·" said entomologist Tom Ellis of the ethereal
insect. "There are over 125 different species of lightning bug, each with
their own unique blinking code. The light shows evolved to aid males in
The lightning bugsā ability to combine inside its body the chemical Lucifern
with oxygen to generate a radiant bioluminescence has been a wonder not only
to scientists but everyday people until very recently. Whereas the
traditional light bulb uses 90% of its converted electrical energy to produce heat and only 10% for light, lightning bugs convert an efficient 95% of their energy to produce light. Like the sun, lightning bugs convert combined elements to create light energy. Unlike the sun, this light is cool.
Our plan is to use the most interesting facts about fireflies and adapt them
to an exciting light sculpture. Everyone whoās ever spent a summer night
chasing the incandescent specks of light fondly remember the wonder of these
insects. This sculpture will use ecologically minded technology to create a
visually stunning representation of this natural phenomenon. Our adaptation
will illustrate, in both a scientifically poignant and aesthetically pleasing way, the visually dramatic chain reaction of the collection, conversion, production, and distribution of light energy.
Our piece will emanate its glowing aura through a combination of solar and
grid energy. Mimicking the lightning bugās synthesis of elements, the power
will be channeled into strobe lights that in turn will bounce illumination
into lightweight reflective panels. The panels will be placed in key areas
throughout the tower so that their pulsing glow along with the flickering
flash of the attached strobes may be enjoyed by from all sides. The pattern
of the flickers, emotional temperature of the light and overall positioning
of the display will be meticulously controlled and specifically refer to a
combination of artistic, and practical concerns. For example, when the piece
is run only on solar power the light may flicker in the pattern of the male
of a particular species. Conversely, when grid power is employed, the
blinking pattern of the responding female can be displayed. Variations with
color will also be explored.
The reflective panels will be made of a lightweight sheeting similar to
vinyl. We estimate they will be about 4-5ā across and can be cut to shape. By experimenting with varying panels to represent different species we can
visually demonstrate their "conversations" through the light shows.
The effect that the viewer experiences will be a series of flickers along
with a glowing form whose intensity is in its center and radiates outward.
Conversely, when the glow begins to fade, it will start from the outside and
darken towards the center. This effect will give the "bugs" a pulsating
sensation adding to the drama of the experience. The Fire Fly Light Show will be seen from all sides and far distances. Imagine the familiar New York
experience of floating past the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry
only to find yourself captivated by the addition of a new element to its
famous backdrop. A curious yet familiar light dance choreographed by nature
and upheld by science illuminates our urban skies in commemoration of a new
age whose concerns for ecology and conservation have prompted its conception.
The Fire Fly Light Show panels have few parts and will be easy to maintain.
They will be custom treated with a luminescent solution that when charged by
either natural or artificial light is capable emitting a brilliant glow for
many hours. Once treated, the panels will become permanently glow capable and require no special care beyond occasional dusting. The panels will be hung with aircraft cable.
The cables will be attached to the grid of the ceiling. Simple wiring will
run along with the cable and down to a solar battery mounted to a pedestal on the floor. Along with the battery, there will be a switch box and control
panel mounted to the pedestal. These components are part of the sculpture and will be treated as artwork. For added visual effect the switch box can be transparent to allow the viewer to see how the power is transferred from one energy source to another. All components are designed with a fun-techie look.
A pulley system will be used to lower and raise the panels. The system is
made of light weight cables and hardware. The system will be easy to operate. All parts are "off-the-shelf" and therefore easy to replace if needed.
The strobe lights will use 45 watts of power and are capable of over a
million flashes before they will need to be changed.
Some females mimic the codes of other lightning bugs to lure the male to his death."
Mark Yurkiw, The Mark Yurkiw Group
Educated in physics and fine arts, Mark Yurkiw has been creating three
dimensional art, and exhibitions for the medical, architectural, industrial,
theatrical, and public service communities internationally for over twenty
The Mark Yurkiw Group is a proven resource for art and ingenuity within any
industry. Some typical projects have included collaborating with inventors to solve the design and technical aspects of a confidential new product,
creating a detailed interactive model for city planning (the proposed new
Penn Station) and generating special effects for television commercials.
Mark has won numerous awards for his work such as The Art Directors Club
Honor, The Society of Medical Illustrators Award, and The International
3-Dimensional Illustrators Show. Markās work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art and is currently represented in private and corporate
The group looks forward to its future years as an opportunity to build on
these achievements while accomplishing new goals as a member of the art and
Visit their new website at http://think3-d.com
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