SUN LIGHT MEN - Installation in the landscape

Experiences I collected at two different sites in Peru (Marcahuasi and Nazca) during a long journey across South America 1981-82, inspired the creation of the Installation SUN / LIGHT / MAN in the small city of Gengenbach in southern Germany 1984.

An astronomically oriented line in Nazca and a circle of stones which I had found in Marcahuasi, are the two principals forms I tried to tie together and to join, as a part of this geographically and astronomically oriented installation in that landscape.

The whole work was integrated into the landscape, taking into account also the landscape profile, lines of visibility and vegetation. The geographical position, the local space specification, is complemented by the local time specification, which is represented by seasonal and daytime changes of natural light typical for this site. The relationship of the two dynamic cycles of light and shadow define a time in a way that is visible to the spectator in this work of art.

This astronomically oriented installation is physically divided into two parts. The first one is located in the valley. It is a circle of stones with a diameter of about 8m (24 ft.). Above it there is an inclined arch made of steel. The second part, located in northeast direction on a small hillock in the distance, about 700m (2300 ft.), away from the circle, consists of a big, round mirror with a diameter of 3,7m (11 ft.). These two artificial objects in the landscape relate to each other. The natural movement of the earth around the sun enables periodic movement of light and shadow phenomena related to the installation. Both the light and the shadow cycles meet each other in the middle of the stone-circle during the summer solstice. Due to the exactly calculated dimensions of all the elements, which were derived from the geographical and time specifications of the site, the shadow (cycle) moves during these days in an arc exactly across the center of the stone circle.

The sunlight reflected by the mirror (light cycle) reaches this central spot a short time before the sunset of June 21st. In that moment the small round water-filled cavity in the middle of the central stone starts to shine. Later during the year, the effects of both cycles increase in distance from one another.
The shadow stays "physically tied" to the circle of stones and to the arch. The light cycle moves in the meantime far away from the center. It will reach the largest distance on the winter solstice - December 22nd. Both cycles meet again after a period of one year, on June 21st.

The described processes enable the installation to adjust itself continuously and exactly to the changes in its natural environment.

It was not my intention to create an exact astronomical instrument, but instead to create a quiet place where the spectator may observe changes and trends in nature, which may motivate his own internal activity.

Since 1989, this work is installed permanently in the sculpture garden IM TAL in Hasselbach / Westerwald - Germany.

© Michael Deiml & Allrounder