Electrical System: Bellman Circuit

Nancy Holt
1982
David Bellman Gallery, Toronto, Canada
3/4 in. steel conduit, lighting and electrical fixtures, light bulbs, electrical wire
Length: 55 ft. (16.7 m); Width: 24 ft. (7.3 m); Height: 9 1⁄2 ft.(2.9 m)

Installed in the David Bellman Gallery in Toronto, ​Electrical System (Bellman Circuit II) ​exposes a resource so common to modern life that its visual, tangible existence often goes forgotten. The work consists of numerous lightbulbs connected by a long metal conduit that curves and winds around the gallery, allowing viewers to meander amongst the arches of light. Holt noted that the Greek root “technic” literally means “art.” Here we see a rudiment of modern technology, contextualized as art, inviting us to examine our relationship to that which we so effortlessly utilize—and so readily fail to see.

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