a tale of a few cities

Future viewing of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ art is really gonna suck.

Posted in WTF? by petercombe on October 31, 2009

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Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Untitled (For Stockholm), 1992
15-watt light bulbs, extension cords, porcelain light sockets


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Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform), 1991
wood, lightbulbs, acrylic paint and Go-Go dancer in silver-lamé bathing suit, sneakers, Walkman

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Under the European Union rules, shops are no longer allowed to buy or import most incandescent frosted glass bulbs starting. The new compact fluorescent lamps though more expensive to buy, are billed as more economical in the long run because they use up to 80 percent less energy and do not burn out as quickly. But the downside is that the light isn’t as nice.

At a briefing this past August in Brussels, E.U. officials were defending themselves against charges that they were depriving children of traditional fairground lights, and dealing with more serious questions about health hazards from the mercury in the new lamps.

Consumer advocates in Europe have cautiously welcomed the measures but they also have pointed to drawbacks for consumers — especially those who have a special sensitivity to certain kinds of light or need old-style bulbs for health reasons. “The blanket ban could spell misery for thousands of epilepsy and anxiety sufferers who are adversely affected by energy-saving bulbs,” said Martin Callanan, a European Parliament member.

The European Commission acknowledged that compact fluorescent lamps had to be handled with extra caution. If one breaks, people are advised to air out rooms and avoid using vacuum cleaners when cleaning up the mess to prevent exposure to mercury (The amount is tiny — about 5 milligrams, or barely enough to cover the tip of a pen — but that is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels, extrapolated from Stanford University research on mercury. Even the latest lamps promoted as “low-mercury” can contaminate more than 1,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels),and other electronic parts in the bulbs, officials said. Instead, householders should remove the debris with a wet cloth while avoiding contact with skin. Used bulbs should be put in special collection receptacles, officials said.

Lights out for lightbulb artworks?>

Shining a light on fluorescent bulbs>

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