The Treehouse + The Cave


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Monday, January 10, 2005

Lost Lighter Telemetry

Traces of Fire

Volkmar Klien and Ed Lear have done something both incredibly simple and incredibly transcendent with their piece Traces of Fire, which they exhibited in Vienna recently. In this work they fitted a dozen-or-so Bic lighters with radio transmitters and then "lost" them in a dozen-or-so pubs. They then tracked the lighters throughout the city of Limerick, documenting the unplanned travels of each Bic. The resulting maps, charts, images and other documents of process constituted their exhibition.

Though many have pondered the fate of the lighters that walk, few have made the effort to examine both the actual circumstances under which they disappear and the human reaction to the loss of a inexpensive yet highly personal object.

Hopefully it's only a matter of time before I have RFID in mine, and the days of finding myself needing a cigarette without the means to light it are over.

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