Les Années Lumière

Ayah Bdeir


Starting from the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri on February 14th 2005, till May of 2008, Lebanon underwent over 133 days of intense violence. Looking from above, each explosion was as an ephemeral but recurrant bright light across the land. Les Années Lumière is a bird’s eye view of a little over 3 years of violence, strife, and very bright lights rocking Lebanon, remembered and proportionally replayed in 45 minutes. A thin gold mesh is carved with relief representing Lebanon and tens of LEDs are distributed on the landscape controlled by a microcontroller circuit that serves as our memory of the violence. As electronics are layered and integrated in canvas, a 4th dimension of time is added to a medium that is typically static. In its title, Les Années Lumière asks, are the years approaching 2009 our enlightenment? Could capturing our recent history in a tangible way make our memories less painful? Could a visualization of our memories make our realities harder to replicate?

IIn collaboration with Rouba Khalil. Thank you: Axel Esquite, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology

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