Circumpolar Lantern

Thilo Frank

Lichtstadt Feldkirch 2018 Thilo Frank Circumpolar lantern

Marked by fine lines, sharp edges and pointed corners, and hanging from the ceiling, the light object “Circumpolar Lantern” not only adorns and illuminates the foyer of the Feldkirch Montforthaus, it also alters the very perception of space. The changing play of light in the large atrium with the surrounding staircase and bright curves meets the rectilinear shadows of the asymmetrical construction and engenders a new experience of the room. By day, the type and intensity of the atrium’s visibility are determined by the natural incidence of outside light; at night, the light object creates a new, exciting atmosphere. “Circumpolar Lantern’s” arrangement of steel lines follows a special logic: it arises from a cluster of cells that behave analogously to a Voronoi diagram. The space generated – for example, a cube – is divided into regions on the basis of defined points, so-called “centres”. By connecting several points that are at the same distance from different centres, a kind of graphic emerges which resembles a spider web and which the artist materializes as a steel construction. The constructive elements seem to revolve around their own centre and allow the play of light and shadow to appear in ever new aspects. The title of the work, “Circumpolar Lantern”, refers to the astronomical designation of those stars which, because of their proximity to the celestial pole, never fall below the horizon.