Wretched Excess Dept: Castor Design's Marble with Fluorescent Tube
TreeHugger is a huge fan of the work of Brian Richer and Castor. They define themselves:
Castor are interested in the middle ground between art and design. Materials and reuse of materials is [sic] also an important part of Castor's aesthetic. Burnt out bulbs to make lighting, a rusty shipping container to make a sauna -- this recontextualization of materials is a primary design consideration of for Castor.
And indeed, much of their work does involve reuse and reimagining. (See the roundup I did earlier this year) Then again, sometimes their work is another thing altogether, like the latest, the Marble with Fluorescent Tube. I thought this was serious wretched excess, a category that we reserve for over-the-top use of resources. Really, using 2500 pounds of marble to hold a light bulb?
UPDATE: Brian Richer informs me that " As you know I was a stone carver for over 15 years. I bought that stone 12 years ago for very little money. It was rejected because of poor quality and most likely would have been left there for good."
Here, Brian creates the world's heaviest fluorescent fixture. He tells Mocoloco:
At first glance, Marble with Fluorescent Tube's monolithic 2,500 pound base appears to be at odds with the banality of the bulb which sits on top of it. However, a closer examination of the sculpture reveals that the bulb is emitting light, although the pins through which a fluorescent bulb normally receives current remain unconnected, and the tube appears to be unpowered.
This effect is achieved through the wireless transmission of electricity, a field pioneered by inventor Nikola Tesla. The marble base houses a circuit that safely stores an electric current within a magnetic field, which is then transferred into the fluorescent bulb. While being displayed, the bulb sits in a channel carved into the sculpture's marble base. It will continue to emit light if lifted several inches away.
It is a nice effect, but a bit extravagant with the marble.
Fortunately Brian has also designed a mini-lite version. They are all at the Gallery House in Toronto.