Videography by Mark Hewitt and Jeff Mertz with Hat Club Films. 

AN.AURORA springs from a long-standing interest in the inherent and under appreciated beauty of industrial objects.  There is something about the utility and universal accessibility that curiously hides them in plain sight.  It’s not a new idea.  Philip Johnson curated an exhibition at the MoMA in 1934 called "Machine Art" in which he showcase ball bearings, springs, and the like.  More specifically, Dan Flavin began producing art with commercially available fluorescent lights in the ‘60s.  After seeing his work in Europe and far-out places here in the States, I came to appreciate the capability of light and color.

Precedents abound, but it is the sky that instigated experimenting with the medium established by Flavin 50 years ago.  I noticed that the sensations evoked by a West Texas sunrise had similarities to the sensations of consistent, colorful artificial light.  I set out to create a sculpture that could be appreciated as an object, but that would also affect its surrounding context with light and color.

I bought a light, some colored plastic, and set to work with a razor and tape.  Resolving the minimal composition was complicated by the more subtle balance of light intensity, specific colors, and ambient effects.  After countless iterations, the final combination produced an experience that worked on many levels.

AN.AURORA is composed of the once-ubiquitous 48" T12 fluorescent light and wrapped in colored film.  A careful visual awareness brings complexity to an otherwise common object.  Varying color and light intensity distort our perception of this glowing glass tube.  The shadows typically present on objects in space are absent, causing the eye to see the cylinder as spatially flat; two dimensional.  Each color’s wavelength consistency and luminous output distort its relative size - some bands seem to choke or bulge across the length of the bulb.  Shadows cast by objects near the light are edged by subtle color variegations and the overall environment is washed a in warm, calming glow.


Hi, I'm Tim Derrington, principal of Derrington Building Studio, designer of AN.AURORA, and winter-time beard man.