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Ursa Minor

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The eyes of the earth, a.k.a. Ursa Minor

We are used to looking up to see the stars. Space, however, also continues beneath our feet. If we could become tiny, smaller than a grain of pebble,we would see the grains of sand an pieces of earth as stars and planets around us. Fleas and mosquitoes would be the size of elephants. If we grew very big, the elephants and hippos would become fleas, the stars would become gravel. What things look like depends on how near or far we view them. The Eyes of the Earth has seven light cones placed on the ground in the shape of the Ursa Minor constellation. The cones are connected by tiles on the ground, laid in the shape of the lines on the constellation map. This way, you can look down on the stars.

The bright holes on the ground are like eyes, projecting different colours of light every now and then. In their irises you can see projected objects from nature, small and tiny animals. The lights on the cones turn on and off so that you can start games based on it, e.g. light tag. There, the game starts when all children (and adults) touch cones which are all lit. Then the lights go out at once, tag begins, and the person selected as the starter tries to catch someone. Slowly, the cones start to light up, one at a time. A lit cone is a safe haven, where a player cannot be caught. One at a time, more safe havens appear, until all lights are on.

For a moment, everyone is safe, but then all the lights go out and the game continues. In the piece, the stars, i.e. clear carbonate cones are 400 mm in diameter, 350 to 600 mm in height and have a wall thickness of 15 mm. A film with different animal figures is projected on the cover. At the bottom there is a fixed light, operated by a timer and dimmer, which projects the animal figure into the clear cover. At the same time, the entire cone is lit when seen from the side. At a distance, the viewer can notice the constellation formed by the light points. The piece gives a different visual message when seen from different distances. The cones, whose technical drawing and position drawing is attached, are delivered ready to be attached to the bottom, consisting of isolating gravel with drainage pipes and a concrete floor of ca. 100 cm. Each cone requires a light control current, specifications to be made at a later date.