If you were in London in late June, you may have noticed more stars than usual, and constellations you've never seen before. You weren't going crazy, but light pollution hadn't dropped off, either. The "stars" were the work of French artist Oscar Lhermitte, who with his team catapulted nylon lines studded with LED lights between tree tops; creating series of twelve new constellations.
A night sky full or stars is a beautiful thing, but unfortunately, the constellations our ancestors looked at every night are no longer visible for most urbanites. Light pollution is linked to air pollution and harms wildlife. But it also disconnects us from nature, which is why Lhermitte came up with his project, "Urban Stargazing," part of the Royal College of Art show.
The solar powered LEDs were strung on triangular nylon lines and fiber optic cables. Lhermitte and his team used telescopic catapults to launch them into trees, in what he called "guerrilla interventions." With names like "the guitar," "the V2" and "the mosquito," Lhermitte's project was more than an opportunity to see the nature our cities block out- it was an attempt to remake mythology.
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