Andrea Galvani © 2009/2010, Higgs Ocean #8
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 75 x 116 cm // 29.5 x 45.7 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy

Higgs Ocean

"Once it has pierced through the sky and gone through the last layer of the atmostphere, unobstructed light is able to travel infinitley, to the farthest reaches of space."

 

The Higgs Ocean series documents a unique project staged off the coast of the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Circle. It required the collaboration of a research institute, two scientists and a crew of 16 people, and was born out of four months of study and preparation with a group of New York-based Russian engineers. Over the course of the 2,800 km sail, the artist used photovoltaic panels to collect and store the natural energy of the limited daily sunlight. He used the accumulated energy to power a flashlight capable of projecting a beam of light over 100,000 ANSI lumens strong. The beam cracked through the Arctic landscape like a bolt of lightning and pierced through the Earth’s atmosphere; within a few minutes, the luminescent memory of the artist’s journey had been returned to the universe. Each photograph in the series records a singular moment in this transfer of energy; they are only simulacra of a process that continues—segments of an infinite vector. 

Andrea Galvani © 2009/2010, Higgs Ocean #10
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 50 x 70 cm // 19.7 x 27.6 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy

Andrea Galvani © 2009/2010, Higgs Ocean #6
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 75 x 116 cm // 29.5 x 45.7 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy

Andrea Galvani © 2009/2010, Higgs Ocean #6 and #7
Installation view at Pulse Miami

Andrea Galvani © 2009/2010, Higgs Ocean #7
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 75 x 116 cm // 29.5 x 45.7 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy

During the weeks immediately preceding his departure to the Arctic, Galvani conducted several tests for collecting, storing, and retransmitting the energy of the sun using solar panels installed on top of a group of cars. He experimented at numerous locations throughout Brooklyn, New York and with various equipment configurations. Higgs Ocean #1 was shot on an extremely cold January day when an unexpected snowstorm interrupted Galvani’s tests. The storm and ensuing blanket of snow interfered with the process of absorbing light and transformed the car into an inactive sculpture, frozen in a state of temporary helplessness.

For Higgs Ocean #5, light was collected over the course of one day, from sunrise to sunset, using the same setup of vehicles and solar panels. The accumulated energy was then released from beneath the vehicles throughout the evening, allowing a trace of the day’s sunlight to persist into the night, until it was depleted. In the resulting image, the light creates an effect like an X-ray, revealing parts of the structures that usually remain obscured.

Andrea Galvani © 2009, Higgs Ocean #1
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 98 x 128 cm // 38.6 x 50.4 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy

Andrea Galvani © 2009, Higgs Ocean #5
C-print mounted on aluminum dibond 121 x 165 cm // 47.6 x 65 inches. Edition of 5 + 3 AP
Courtesy of the artist, Meulensteen Gallery New York and Artericambi Italy