Spanish art collective Luz Interruptus' latest pop-up installation in the streets of Madrid collects a myriad fluorescent sticks, to protest against light pollution in the city. The fluorescent sticks, assembled in groups to form of blades of grass, were placed on the pavement for one night only.
According to Luz Interruptus, "of all the environmental pollution that can be found in the city of Madrid, the most evident is light pollution. This overillumination is evident to the naked eye at a distance of more than 200 kms and produces a glow that can be seen with a medium-size telescope for more than 700 kms."
The collective found it "very surprising", that at a time when the European Union is so careful with issues of environmental pollution, "that the Department of the Environment of the City Council of Madrid rules for illuminated signs, adopted a couple of years ago, changed the rules for pharmacy signs, allowing them to be replaced with much more powerful ones."
"So much light emanates from the new crosses, that the environment that surrounds each pharmacy is permanently tinted a deep, vibrant and unnatural green color," Luz Interruptus remarks. "Objectively speaking, one could say that the majority of the urban green spaces in our city, are more the result of erroneous illuminated sign rules than the commitment of our institutions to provide the city with places where you can be in contact with nature."
"In addition to the obvious color change of the streets, the neighbors who live in the vicinity of 24 hour pharmacies, have watched impotently as every night their rooms become disturbing green places, in which life and the perception of what happens in them is altered, without being able to do anything to avoid it."
The installation Mutant weeds imagines a not-too-distant future, in which a new and hardy species of plant grows in the asphalt around the pharmacies, nourished by the photosynthesis of its powerful "low" light.
The installation converted the fluorescent sticks into small "radioactive fields" that surprised many curious passers-by. The collective chose three downtown locations for the installation, and after a few hours of conversation with curious pedestrians, removed all traces of the intervention.