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A Line Describing the Sun

William Lamson (American, 1977-)

A Line Describing the Sun is a two-channel video by William Lamson that documents the artist as he conducted a day-long performance in California's Mojave Desert. For this work, Lamson created a rolling apparatus that carried a large Fresnel lens, which he positioned directly under the sun to create a focused point of light of about 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. Lamson charted the sun’s trajectory by burning the desert’s surface into a glass-like line, creating a 366 foot parabolic arc. A Line Describing the Sun is reminiscent of interventions by Earthworks artists in the 1960s and 70s, which highlighted natural phenomena or temporarily altered the landscape, such as James Turrell’s ongoing project Roden Crater or Dennis Oppenheim’s monumental drawings in snow or fields.

Lamson’s expansive sculpture Divining Meteorology, an adapted communications tower, was on display in the IMA’s Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion from April–August, 2011.

(Pierogi, Inc., Brooklyn, New York), representing the artist; purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2011 (TR11276).

Object Information

William Lamson (American, 1977-)
creation date
Two-channel high definition video, color image and sound
running time: 13:34 minutes
accession number
credit line
Jane Weldon Myers Acquisition Fund, Cecil F. Head Art Fund
Contemporary Art

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