Forecast: Cloudy, with a chance of lightbulbs

Canadian artists construct an interactive sculpture from thousands of lightbulbs. It won't rain on you, but it will shine on you.

Doug Wong

What a beautiful sunny week we're having here in San Francisco! There's not a cloud in the sky -- not even a one made from 6,000 lightbulbs.

Calgary, Canada-based artist Caitlind r.c. Brown and collaborator Wayne Garrett created the large-scale interactive sculpture by covering a steel substructure with a cloud of burned-out incandescent bulbs collected from local households, businesses, museums, and eco stations.

The bulbs attach to pull strings that together look a bit like streaming rain. The cords allow viewers to control the illumination of the structure like lightning in the lightbulb cloud, which is lit from within by 250 compact fluorescent bulbs, pulling a total power of approximately 20 amps.

The Cloud sculpture was on public display for one night last month during Calgary's first Nuit Blanche Festival for contemporary art, but we wouldn't mind it floating our way sometime.

Now, just imagine if Cloud had a love child with RainRoom -- a room full of falling water that falls everywhere except on you. We wouldn't know whether to wear a raincoat or sunglasses to that craziness.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


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