ART & SPACE
Interview by Liz Kwon
Liz Kwon : Your work is very organic and environmental in form yet simultaneously futuristic. Where or what inspired such forms?
Grimanesa Amoros : The Uros series is inspired by the Uros Islands in Lake Titicaca located southeast of Peru. They are floating islets made entirely out of totora reeds, a sub-species of the giant bulrush sedge. The pre-Incan Uros, who live on forty-two handmade floating islands in Lake Titicaca, build everything out of this material – everything that ranges from houses to boats to watch towers. I created the Uros series to reflect the natural elegance of sea foam and totora reeds. The light sculptures maintain the traditional technique and shape of these islands. I have always worked with subject matters that relate to my personal experience.
Liz Kwon : It seems that the emanating light is also a significant element, as much as the circular forms of the work. I wonder what kind of technical process is used to produce such works. Also, does the spatial environment effect your decision in the choosing the colors of the light?
Grimanesa Amoros : After working with many different mediums, I felt that incorporating light would bring the magic I was looking for to my work. Light engages the viewer – my sculptures are one with the light and one cannot be separated from the other. I prefer to work with organic shapes and use materials that are practical and best express my ideas. In my latest work, I have been using Phillips/ Color Kinetics LEDs, Lexan which is a diffusion material for my domes, silkscreen, aluminum, custom lighting sequencing, and electrical hardware. Every sequence is customized specifically for each sculpture and its site-specific location. I do location visits and study the light at the site. I study how viewers move in the space and the people that will be interacting with the piece on a daily basis. Light is important – it allows me to tell a story with much more clarity. The custom lighting sequence in each piece is carefully engineered, from each shade of color to every transition made.