Walter De Maria, The lighting field

Catron, U.S. 60, Quemado, NM 87829, United Stateslightning_field

I’m not sure why but this piece struck my attention (no pun intended). I think it might have something to do with the unpredictability of nature and how man continually tries to manipulate it. May no have much to do with my project path at the moment, but gives something to think about: wonder what the lightning would have struck if the pools hadn’t been positioned there.

walter-de-maria-the-lightning-field-1977-61 walter-de-maria-lightning-field-filed-demaria-marie

Something I didn’t know:

Does lightning strike from the sky down, or the ground up?

The answer is both. Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge. Since opposites attract, an upward streamer is sent out from the object about to be struck. When these two paths meet, a return stroke zips back up to the sky. It is the return stroke that produces the visible flash, but it all happens so fast – in about one-millionth of a second – so the human eye doesn’t see the actual formation of the stroke.

Also a symbol of natures dangerous beauty are the photographs of peoples scars after being struck by lightning:

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Jessy Plant

A Brighton born artist, now studying a Fine Art Degree at Cardiff Met Uni.

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