DAVID KENNEDY, BENJAMIN PEEK & JACOB MANS
An objet d’art and architectural experience, Lime Light appears from a distance as a curious wooden box. Upon approach, a viewer observes activity occurring within. Upon entrance, they will be saturated in the greenish fluorescent brilliance that Black Locusts emit when illuminated by UV light. Mirrors multiply the effect and contrast the preciousness of the exterior with the vastness of the interior. This piece isolates a little-known property of a local tree species -- the so-called invasive black locust -- with the intent of heightening awareness of the latent and manifest properties of wood.
Presented in partnership with the
HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Is a graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he is pursuing a degree in Design Studies, David Kennedy is a researcher, and makes art about the tangible and implied properties of wood-- including ecological, economical, and political implications. He recently completed an installation in Harvard Yard called “Beyond the Bark.”
Originally from the Midwest, Benjamin Peek is now a researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has a background in architecture and construction. His design focus and methods are responsive to how one physically manipulates material in the most modest and intimate sense. This logic, very much hands-on, capitalizes on trial and error processes through the lens of making. Recently, his material focus has been on wood and understanding it through a more comprehensive ecological design scope.
Jacob Mans is an architect living in Boston. His work focuses on the influence of large-scaled environmental systems on small-scaled building performance. He is currently researching social behaviors attached to behaviors of consumption and conservation through the mediums of wood and fire.
Lime Light by David Kennedy, Benjamin Peek and Jacob Mans invites one to wander through a florescent green and purple glowing structure of suspended wooden panels, a hybrid between forest and scaffolding. Upon closer inspection the visitor is struck by a wondrous illumination: where planed smooth the wood itself glows green, as though reflecting the color of the Green Monster across the street. The wood boards are cut from the black locust tree which is classified as an invasive species. Its poisonous dark side shines through its intrinsic biochemical properties, glowing under exposure to black light. The installation suggests a landscape that Alice would stumble upon in Wonderland or the radioactive fields of Chernobyl glowing at night. Although black locust has excellent building materials properties, it cannot be specified as a commercial construction material because of its vicious tendency towards domination in nature. Lime Light exposes the skeletal framework, usually hidden inside architecture, and constructs an unexpectedly mystical experience of tamed and fabricated nature. At the center, the visitor arrives at a kind of garden shed, the interior walls planed smooth and glowing, radiating outward through gaps in the construction like a magical treasure chest.