Luke Jerram «Tide» 1998.
Tide is an acoustic sculpture that responds to the gravitational pull of the moon.
«I once videoed a ship coming over the horizon. It gave me a sense of the curvature of the earth, of my location and physical size. Our understanding of space is often defined by time, how long it takes to travel somewhere, by car perhaps or by flying. We gain an inner understanding of distance, which changes over our lifetime. Two hundred years ago this internal awareness of how far it was to America was very different to how it is now. The world is shrinking and we are able to look outside our small revolving blue planet to consider far larger distances and much longer durations of time. In Tide, I aimed to give the viewer a sense that the work was being controlled from out there.» ~ Luke Jerram.
«I wanted to make a work that was physically located within a gallery but was however, far larger than the space itself. In order to measure the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, the meter I am using has to be adjusted to point straight down. It takes many minutes to calibrate, but once set, it points exactly to the centre of the earth. There are also other mental and physical lines the gravity meter helps to acknowledge: a line of gravitational energy tying the both the installation and viewer outwards, to moon and sun.
In the past I studied physics; I tend to use it as a framework to throw over a problem, to physically break down a phenomena to consider how it works. Switching between this scientific way of thinking, to the consideration of the viewer's primary experience of the artwork, has been difficult at times. A balance has had to be found between the mechanics of the sculptures and their aesthetic. Tide, defines for me the parameters for an even more refined work. Although I have been developing this project continually since November 1998, a much longer time is required to fine-tune the design of the sculptures so that the work can function both as an installation artwork and as an accurate, astronomical clock.» ~ Luke Jerram.
The final work is based on Keplers theories of the Music of the Spheres (see peyote.com) and references early scientific apparatus, as studied in the London Science Museum. The work functions as both an astronomical clock and a media art exhibit.