ICARUS was presented as a performance exploring light scattering, light refraction, motion and time. It incorporated a live act where the ice sculptures are carved in real time with different tools to achieve the diatom internal shells. By using fire to melt and shape them, it raises awareness of the vulnerability of natural resources, pointing to the urge in time for action. It consists of an ice block shaped with the nanostructures of diatom shells that are left to melt after the performance. Here, laser light is pointed, scattering and refracting light, proposing a dialogue between light, time and the physical properties of the element water.
It is inspired by the photonic properties of diatoms and their potential vulnerability due to anthropogenic pressures. Diatoms are attracted to light, and their internal structures reflect light. ICARUS explores these relationships in an experimental approach using ice structures.
Diatoms are unicellular microalgae present in all aquatic environments on earth.
This project is developed in collaboration with the scientist Johannes Goessling and the ice producer James Diamond. Johannes´ research resolves around the photonic properties of the glass shells of diatoms. Some of the structures are very complex and unique, with highly periodic pores. James Diamond realises the performative act.
ICARUS performance was presented at Break in Case of Emergency event at GreTua, Aveiro.
Supported by Cesam, United Nations Oceans Decade.
- Technique / Materials: Performance/ installation / MacBook Pro, Enttec DMXIS 70570 USB to DMX interface, laser projector Cameo LUKE 700 RGB, haze machine, rotating plates, microscopes, diatoms, electric tools, fire, ice.
- Software: DMXIS.
- Dimensions: variable
- Date: 2023
- Location: GreTua, Break in Case of Emergency, Aveiro, Portugal.
©Claudia Benedeti (Video footage)