Global Lightning Strikes As Seaside Pier Lighting Art

Every time a lightning strike is recorded the pier lamps flicker.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on December 28, 2009. @piers_fawkes

Katie Paterson is an artist who re-interprets nature as art. In her latest work ‘Streetlight Storm’ in the English seaside town of Deal, she has connected the lamps of the pier with lightning strikes from around the world. Every time a lightning strike is recorded the pier lamps flicker.

Katie Paterson Art

Background information found on the artist’s website says:

At any one time there are around 6000 lightning storms happening across the world, amounting to some 16 million storms each year. Such dizzying statistics are useful to hold in mind while experiencing Streetlight Storm, a new artwork by Katie Paterson… Katie Paterson creates poetic artworks exploring landscape, space and time, using technology to bring together the commonplace and the cosmic. Streetlight Storm deftly harnesses everyday technology to connect with vast natural phenomena, collapsing the distance between us and remote meteorological events. Lightning signals from as far away as the North Pole or North Africa are received by an antenna on the pier and translated into light. As the pattern of lightning strikes changes, so the pier lights oscillate correspondingly, with a subtlety that contrasts with the power and drama of the storms they reflect.

Katie Paterson

TOPICS: Arts & Culture
Piers Fawkes, PSFK

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Piers Fawkes is the founder and editor-in-chief of PSFK, a daily news site that provides a go-to source for new ideas and inspiration. He also is president of PSFK Labs.