Light Is Life

July 2012

For a long time now I have worked with light: its physical qualities, the meaning of light, and the profound impact that access to light has on our lives. Light is energy and energy is power.

With Little Sun, I want to initiate an ambitious, collective project, which addresses the lack of energy access around the world and the unequal distribution of energy. Little Sun is a solar-powered light that I feel has a strong spiritual potential, a potential to address a felt feeling of connectivity, the feeling of being connected to peripheral areas where energy is not accessible.

 

Three yellow to green to red complementary felt feeling movie, 2010

Photo: Jens Ziehe

When I was invited two years ago to conceive a work of art for the Olympics, I was very proud because, fundamentally, the Olympics takes up some of the ideas of what it means to share this planet together – albeit through sports. It was clear to me that my project for the Olympics should address not the centre of action, but the notion of a shared totality, a shared everything – including everyone, both those with electricity and those living off-grid.

The collectivity project, 2005

Photo: Andreas Eggersten

Therefore, at the very early stages, I played with the idea of creating a torch that everyone in the world could have in their hand, creating a kind of global campfire: the possibility of being in different places around the world at the same time and yet feeling like you are sitting around the same campfire. In this case, with Little Sun, the campfire is the sun. It uses solar technology to give individual access to power in a life-enhancing way. Little Sun is a work of art that works in life.

–Olafur Eliasson

Sua fogueira cósmica (Your cosmic campfire), 2011