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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Dark Sky Scott
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Reged: 01/06/12

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Open Air art project in Philadelphia
      #5390081 - 08/27/12 04:45 PM

Have you seen this?

http://associationforpublicart.org/open-air/

It is an "art" project involving search lights in Philadelphia, PA.

IDA just put out a statement on it, which I have copied below (Full disclosure, I am the Managing Director at IDA and I wrote the press release that is quoted.):

Open Air Art Project Sends Wrong Message about Light at Night

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

27 August 2012. TUCSON, AZ – The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is extremely concerned about the Open Air art project that will use twenty-four “powerful searchlights” to “create unique, dynamic light formations in the sky”. The project, taking place in Philadelphia, PA from September 20 to October 14, will reportedly be visible up to ten miles away. It represents a tremendous waste of energy and is damaging to the nighttime environment.

We hope that the Association for Public Art and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer are aware of the numerous problems created by the frivolous use of artificial light at night. Improper artificial night lighting is a globally recognized problem. Bad lighting, which, sadly, is embodied by “Open Air”, affects far more than the ability to see the stars clearly. Bad lighting in all its forms is a waste of energy, natural resources, and money. Ecosystems are affected as navigation systems and other biological processes of nocturnal animals are disrupted. Artificial lighting affects the 24-hour cycle regulating sleep patterns known as the circadian rhythm in wildlife and humans. For these reasons, many communities work to control unnecessary light and have outright banned the use searchlights such as those that will be used for the Open Air project.

Poorly used artificial light at night is one of the most conspicuous forms of energy waste worldwide. Open Air represents an excessive and unnecessary use of light and according to their website employs “the world’s brightest searchlights”.

The project’s website further claims that “The lateral light pollution generated by the beams is much smaller than any street light.“ It is hard to reconcile that statement as the project will be visible up to ten miles away. It would seem that claim is only possible because most streets lights focus their light downward and not laterally or directly up into the sky.

Beaming light into the sky can be fatal to birds, insects, and other nocturnal wildlife. The light creates a dangerous and detrimental attraction to area wildlife, especially to migratory birds. IDA appreciates that the project has consulted with Audubon Pennsylvania in an attempt to minimize the impact on birds, especially since it will be taking place during fall bird migration.

The project perpetuates the myth that excessive and unnecessary light at night is acceptable. The International Dark-Sky Association would welcome the opportunity to provide information to the Association for Public Art and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on light pollution and how to become a positive force in the campaign to improve lighting worldwide.

The project is described in detail on the Association for Public Art’s website at http://associationforpublicart.org/open-air/.


Edited by Dark Sky Scott (08/28/12 07:30 PM)


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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5390249 - 08/27/12 06:47 PM

I posted a note under "add a positive comment" thread that Dave Fuller started. My comment is pending approval. In this case, the positive comment goes against this idea.....
Tom

http://www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-philadelphia#comment-


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5393771 - 08/29/12 06:26 PM

I have written emails to the Knights Foundation about this and have informed the astronomy clubs in my area. The content of my email is as follows, addressed specifically to president and CEO.

"Twenty-four searchlights, pointing up, polluting what little is left of the Philadelphia night skies for a 10 mile radius from its point of origin on the Parkway for almost four weeks, every night, is not an encouraging overture "to save public space to bring it back to the public," as Lozano-Hemmer claims for his Open Air Project. His opinion of the minimum impact to migratory birds by working with the Pennsylvania Audubon Society is a mere token, the proverbial bone thrown to those concerned, and reveals a near complete lack of understanding of the growing body of scientific evidence in support of the preservation of the night sky, not just for its natural beauty, but for the disruption of biological processes of animals (including humans) and the waste of energy and natural resources.

It is an insult to all who appreciate the inspiring sweep of the night sky and to the significant efforts of those who are actively working to preserve it, such as the International Dark Sky Association and more locally, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Lighting Council which is presently engaged in preserving the night sky in areas not far from Philadelphia. The insult is extended to the townships and the counties surrounding Philadelphia that have adapted outdoor lighting ordinances or have initiated good lighting practices specifically for the aforementioned purposes.

Lozano-Hemmer's insensitivity is inexcusable, despite his claims of minimal environmental impact and a professed appreciation of the night sky, his statement about the event, "... that messages will only be censored through crowd-sourcing on the website 'Moronic content is important because this is a public space....' " is justification only for the lowest forms of expression.

There were substantial financial resources dedicated to the Open Air Project. The human resources associated with it should utilize more imagination. The public benefits of the night sky can be better realized. Reducing unnecessary artificial light within the city is the best place to start. There are organizations as mentioned earlier that can help inform about suppressing unnecessary light. Also, consider coordinating efforts with astronomy clubs, similar to what Dr. Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute pursues several times a year, but with greater endeavor and on a grander scale. Such programs help engage and inform the public in what the night sky offers to all, a light show that is free to everyone.

Please, in the future, consider the full impact of how donated dollars are spent."

Edit: I sent a written letter via USPS with the same stated content this morning. I encourage all who visit this forum to do similarly. Paper mail gets read. Emails too often get lost in all the "noise" from spam and junk email. Send it to the attention of
The Chairman
c/o John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Suite 3300
200 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL. 33131-2349

Edited by Fred1 (08/31/12 10:48 AM)


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5394186 - 08/29/12 11:55 PM

Outstanding, Fred!

Geoff


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5394544 - 08/30/12 09:18 AM

Their web site actually allows you to leave a comment about the project. Needless to say, mine wasn't very supportive of the project.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5394616 - 08/30/12 10:09 AM

Tom, thanks for that link; I was looking for a place to add a comment; which I did, & is awaiting approval, also. It was definitely NOT in support of this "art" project!

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csrlice12
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Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5394688 - 08/30/12 10:43 AM

Just to think that the money spent on this could have been spent on replacing/modifying existing lighting that more focuses it's beams down instead of up.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5394809 - 08/30/12 11:53 AM

7 replies against this "show", and one by the Assoc. for Public Art, praising it.

Here's the link again, for those that wish to post their comments:

Link


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RonUwood
super member


Reged: 10/16/10

Loc: North Carolina, western Piedmo...
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5395003 - 08/30/12 02:07 PM

My comment is under "rongto", thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Ron


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RonUwood]
      #5395070 - 08/30/12 02:58 PM



Thanks Ron!


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Dark Sky Scott
super member


Reged: 01/06/12

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5395252 - 08/30/12 04:41 PM

On our website, http://www.darksky.org, IDA just posted a letter about this by light pollution researcher Christopher Kyba. It is worth reading.

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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5395316 - 08/30/12 05:24 PM

Here's an interesting group in Philadelphia. Wonder what they think?

http://www.rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org/


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Dark Sky Scott
super member


Reged: 01/06/12

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5395365 - 08/30/12 06:02 PM

Have you seen this from Astronomy's Dave Eicher?

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/daves-universe/archive/2012/08/30/an-art-project-promises-to-light-up-the-philadelphia-sky-even-more.aspx


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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5395880 - 08/30/12 11:54 PM

It's been a long week at work. I needed a place to relieve some of my stress and figured posting a comment on the article that TOM O linked to would do the trick. I was feeling a bit silly and decided to take a "different" approach. Currently, my comment is awaiting moderation. I have a sneaky suspicion it may not get approved. They'll probably claim it was too long or infringed on copyrights or something like that. If it falls to the cutting room floor, I'll repost my comment here.

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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RobbW]
      #5396309 - 08/31/12 09:36 AM

As I suspected, my comment was not approved! Oh well. I'll repost it here. I was just having a little bit of fun. A wink and a nod to you Monty Python fans!


Rafael: Good evenin’, your grace.

Pope: Good evening, Rafael. I want to have a word with you about this “Open Air” project of yours.

Rafael: Oh, yes?

Pope: I’m not happy with it.

Rafael: Oh dear. It took hours!

Pope: No, not happy at all.

Rafael: Does the voice-controlled app worry you?

Pope: Nope.

Rafael: No, it adds a bit of participatory fun, doesn’t it? Oh I know. You don’t like the Rocky Balboa-themed dancing statuettes.

Pope: What statuettes?

Rafael: I’ll alter it, no sweat.

Pope: I never saw any Rocky statuettes.

Rafael: Well they’re right over near the museum. But, I’ll swap them out, no problem. I’ll replace them with searchlights.

Pope: Ah!

Rafael: All right now?

Pope: That’s the problem.

Rafael: What is?

Pope: The searchlights.

Rafael: Are they too bluish? I made the spinning ones the most bluish.

Pope: No, no, it’s just that there are twenty-four of them.

Rafael: Well, another dozen would hardly be noticed then. So I’ll change the Rockies into searchlights…

Pope: No, no.

Rafael: Well, all right, all right, we’ll lose the Rockies altogether then. I don’t mind. I was never completely happy with them.

Pope: That’s not the point. There are twenty-four searchlights!

Rafael: Too many?

Pope: Well of course it’s too many!

Rafael: Well in a way, but I wanted to give the impression of a huge open-air art exhibition, you know. A true sky painting, not just on any old canvas, but a proper visual treat, a real mother of a light show.

Pope: But we can only see twelve of the brightest stars in the night sky as it is!

Rafael: Well supposing some of the others went supernova.

Pope: The migratory birds will be blinded and disoriented!

Rafael: Well maybe they can fly west this winter! Don’t worry. We’ll pay homage to them with a few bird calls.

Pope: There are emerging links between light-at-night and cancer. The American Medical Association clearly says so.

Rafael: No bird calls?

Pope: No bird calls.

Rafael: Turkeys?

Pope: No.

Rafael: Farting cows?

Pope: NO!

Rafael: Well, you see, I like them. They light up the night sky. I mean, I suppose we could lose three or four of them. You know, dim one or two…

Pope: There should only be stars in the night sky…

Rafael: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! We’ll call it the “Midnight Sun”.

Pope: What?

Rafael: We’ll just pretend we’re in Alaska. I mean, the Inuits survive just fine without night for six months at a stretch, right?

Pope: Yes, but…

Rafael: Right! So this is the “Midnight Sun”. The AMA doesn’t issue any warnings about Alaska’s six months of light at night, does it?

Pope: No, but…

Rafael: Yeah, well there you are!

Pope: Look, a starry night sky is a significant natural wonder for the entire world to enjoy. Your blasted “Midnight Sun” is not. Even if you had Lady Gaga and the Tabernacle Choir controlling the lights themselves! Now, I commissioned a painting of the night sky from you, and a starry night sky I want.

Rafael: Yeah, but look…

Pope: With twinkling stars and NO searchlights.

Rafael: NONE?!?!

Pope: Yes, none! Now will you please tell me what in God’s name possessed you to light up the night sky with twenty-four hellishly bright searchlights?!

Rafael: It works, mate!

Pope: It does not work!

Rafael: It does, it looks great! The pulsating ones balance the spinning ones!

Pope: Look, we once could see thousands of stars in the night sky!

Rafael: Well, I know that. Everyone knows that. But what about technological advancement?

Pope: THOUSANDS OF STARS!

Rafael: I’ll tell you what you want, mate. You want a bloody astronomer! Not an egotistical artist with some fancy flashlights!

Pope: I’ll tell you what I want: I want a dark night sky with one Moon, thousands of stars, and no searchlights by Thursday evening, or you don’t get paid!

Rafael: BLOODY ENVIRONMENTALIST!

Pope: Look, I’m the bloody Pope! I may not know much about astrophysics, but I know what I like!


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RobbW]
      #5396517 - 08/31/12 11:31 AM

RobbW,
That's funny! and sad, too. No surprise they don't want to accept your take on their stupid idea.
As a thought, perhaps you might consider teaming up with Dave Fuller and produce an "Astronomy Theater" show. It would be great to see this expanded a bit and acted out...
His weekly show is building and very entertaining!

Here's a link to Dave's site http://www.eyesonthesky.com/

Sincerely, Tom


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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5396772 - 08/31/12 01:43 PM

Thanks, Tom! Yes, I'm familiar with Dave's work. Actually, he's a good astro friend of mine! I'll float the idea by him. I would love a chance to dip my toes into the world of show business!

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csrlice12
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Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RobbW]
      #5396790 - 08/31/12 01:53 PM

Quote:

Thanks, Tom! Yes, I'm familiar with Dave's work. Actually, he's a good astro friend of mine! I'll float the idea by him. I would love a chance to dip my toes into the world of sow business!




There's a guy in Philly who does lighting, maybe we can get one of those AP guys to use their camera.......


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5401536 - 09/03/12 05:44 PM

This is horrible--but at least it has a beginning and end date.

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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: GeneT]
      #5401807 - 09/03/12 08:35 PM

Quote:

This is horrible--but at least it has a beginning and end date.




True, but I'm concerned that if this exhibition proves popular it will spawn other light polluting art projects and/or permanent nightly displays of this sort.

Geoff


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5401881 - 09/03/12 09:24 PM

Here's a quote from the organizers of Association for Public Art....

"Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s projects with interactive lights have been safely and successfully staged in cities all over the world, including Dublin, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Liverpool, Lyon, Montreal, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Vitoria- Gasteiz Spain. The lateral light pollution of the beams is smaller than any street light, advertisement or corporate logo found on Philadelphia’s buildings. Also, the lights are tightly focused and are never pointed towards nearby buildings, flight paths or sensitive ecological areas.

"Open Air" coincides with the peak period of bird migration over Philadelphia. The artist is working with Audubon Pennsylvania and partner organizations in a collaborative effort to minimize and mitigate any effect of the project on migratory birds."

This is on their fb page. https://www.facebook.com/assocforPublicArt?ref=search&sid=677131930.2896771940..1&v=wall


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Tonk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5402389 - 09/04/12 05:42 AM

Quote:

effort to minimize and mitigate any effect of the project on migratory birds




This is a lttle bit insincere - the best way to mitage this is NOT to do it in the migratory season. I.e. they don't actually care!


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tonk]
      #5402820 - 09/04/12 11:41 AM

Just a reminder to new and returning visitors to this thread. Please, see my post (it's 3rd on the first page) and consider sending your opinion to the Knight Foundation. A written letter is always better. Emails tend to get lost in all the noise. Thanks for your help.

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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5403031 - 09/04/12 01:42 PM

Carol,
Is there a way to include news about this thread in a way more CNer's can be brought into the loop? Seems like a timely and important issue that should be getting a higher profile. There are astronomy clubs in the region who don't have a clue about this project? Just a thought...
Thanks, Tom


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5403383 - 09/04/12 04:23 PM

Quote:

Just a reminder to new and returning visitors to this thread. Please, see my post (it's 3rd on the first page) and consider sending your opinion to the Knight Foundation. A written letter is always better. Emails tend to get lost in all the noise. Thanks for your help.




Fred is probably right about written letters. Another option is to post comments to the KnightArts web site which has the advantage of reaching a wide audience.

Knight Arts: Preparing for "Open Air" in Philadelphia

The conversation at the Knight Arts site continues. Alas, there is an amateur astronomer defending the "Open Air" project.

Geoff


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5403634 - 09/04/12 07:02 PM

Quote:

Carol,
Is there a way to include news about this thread in a way more CNer's can be brought into the loop? Seems like a timely and important issue that should be getting a higher profile. There are astronomy clubs in the region who don't have a clue about this project? Just a thought...
Thanks, Tom




Tom; if anyone knows of the astronomy clubs in the region, perhaps they can be contacted with a link to this thread, or the link to the Open Air site. We don't allow duplicate threads in the forums.


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TOM O
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Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5403746 - 09/04/12 07:51 PM

Thanks, Carol. I kind of figured. I wondered if there was a directing link to hot subjects that would guide folks to this thread as a lead in for more info, but, oh well. I have left questions for the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomy Society and the Rittenhouse Science Center, as well as the Franklin Institute. The fb pages made it easy to leave a post. The Franklin Institute took my posted question down.
Thanks, Tom

https://www.facebook.com/RittenhouseAstronomy

https://www.facebook.com/TheFranklinInstitute?ref=search&sid=671735097.2243181252..1

https://www.facebook.com/lvaas.astro

and, finally, the main group of Audubon for the area is

http://www.wyncoteaudubon.org/
this is the group working with the artist.


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5403908 - 09/04/12 09:22 PM

At the September 9 meeting of my club, The Chesmont Astronomical Society, we are hosting a science writer from a major Philly newspaper who will be speaking about a number of topics including advice on how to get our voice heard in the media and how to raise awareness about light pollution.

The Delaware Astronomical Society plans to run an article about the Open Air Project in their upcoming newsletter.

The Chester County Astronomical Society has Dr. Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute speaking at their upcoming meeting on September 11 and I hope to attend that to speak with Dr. Pitts about the project.

I've also provided information to the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers about my position on the project and I hope to involve them further.

With the project having been "successfully staged in cities all over the world, including Dublin, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Liverpool, Lyon, Montreal, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Vitoria- Gasteiz Spain" I don't expect this to go away. I see this as a blow, a severe blow, to the battle for light abatement as more and more people are getting on board with enthusiasm for this Project, many of them see light abatement as an invitation to increasing crime. As one of my esteemed club members said, "This is a teachable moment." We can't stop it but we can make our voices heard to help bring to "light" a new direction for similar intended projects.

How long before such "art" comes to municipalities smaller than the major cities listed above? The lights of the Open Air Project in Philadelphia reportedly can be seen for up to 10 miles!!! I live 22 miles outside of Philly and I'm still appalled at the idea.

Everyone who visits the CN forums should be equally affronted and I again implore all to write to the Knight Foundation, not just in cyber space but with real paper and a stamp and suggest to them how better $250,000 should be spent.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5404138 - 09/04/12 11:35 PM

Tom, Thanks! Great job of contacting them, and posting the links here!

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TOM O
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Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5404242 - 09/05/12 01:30 AM

All for one and one for all. Just taking a moment to spend time doing worthwhile stuff! Thanks, csa/montana, fred1, barasits, Tonk, and everyone else! Dark Sky Scott, IDA, BRAVO!
Best, Tom


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5404257 - 09/05/12 01:54 AM

Fred1, I see my post on the Rittenhouse fb page is now gone, as well. I'm wondering if a letter simply goes into the waste basket as easily as posts to the open forum are discarded? seems like high level censorship is active? Glad you are a home boy carrying the flag and torch! Thanks, Tom
ps..Great gibbous Moon tonight!


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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5404680 - 09/05/12 11:05 AM

Hey, I actually got 2 e-mail replies from the artist himself. In the 2nd e-mail, he remarkably stated, "Mark, I never said I was not contributing to the (light pollution) problem. I am fully aware that this project pollutes and all I am saying is that I am doing my very best to mitigate those effects."

He dropped the bird issue after I pointed out that his site states that they are using his project to study the effects of such projects on migrating birds. I stated that the fact that they're conducting a study indicates that they don't know what the effects will be.


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405146 - 09/05/12 03:49 PM

Quote:

... I am doing my very best to mitigate those effects."




If this is an example, then he needs to try much harder.


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5405178 - 09/05/12 04:08 PM

It'd be a great night for all of you out there in your basements building your EM Pulse guns to go out and give them a try....

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5405303 - 09/05/12 05:30 PM

Rittenhouse responded with a note that they have disabled the public comment section on their fb page pending official club review. They are all talking about the impact of uproar over this project. Their club is right in the heart of the Franklin Institute. For some interesting insight, an old post from the Danver Tricities Museum show regarding Benjamin Franklin brings a bitter taste to Philadelphia in realizing that Ben is coined as being one of "America's first environmentalists."
http://www.tchd.org/benfranklin.htm
Interesting! Ben was an amateur astronomer and he surly loved the night sky...


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5405336 - 09/05/12 05:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

... I am doing my very best to mitigate those effects."




If this is an example, then he needs to try much harder.




The latest defender of Open Air on the Knight Arts web site makes the same argument, i.e., that the artist is taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of the project. It's a classic dodge. The "mitigating" actions are mere window dressing.

Geoff


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405349 - 09/05/12 06:01 PM

I hate the word "mitigation" It simply means to trade one bad idea for another... As if waste is acceptable under the clause of saving another idea? Here is what Ben says about the waste of energy vs, a simple change of attitude and adjusting the clock to bring thrift in something simple as a "candle"
By the way, he and Thomas Jefferson shared a great passion for star gazing!

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2008/03/03/ben-franklins-letter-to-the-editor-re-saving-daylight/

Folks in Franklin's adopted "home town" need to read their own history....


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405352 - 09/05/12 06:05 PM

and we have the right to "mitigate" our actions such as blasting it and the idea behind it all over the intranet and other social networks.....

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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5405426 - 09/05/12 06:49 PM

A thousand thanks, Tom, for posting the link to Franklin's letter to the editor. I hadn't run across this letter before. Great wisdom delivered with great wit!

Geoff


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5405468 - 09/05/12 07:15 PM

I don't suppose Lozano-Hemmer would consider the off switch. Seriously though, if he could arrange for a light pollution offset in the same way that he proposes to offset the carbon footprint of the project, I might be willing to cut him some slack.

For instance, Lozano-Hemmer might attempt to persuade the city of Philadelphia (both public and private sector lighting users) to turn off all non-essential lighting for 3 hours per night for the length of his show. A truly formidable task, but it would demonstrate that he is serious about environmental impact.

Geoff


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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405567 - 09/05/12 08:28 PM

Please leave some comments at this site, either via Facebook or directly on the blog at the bottom:

Another site for comments


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405603 - 09/05/12 09:13 PM

Thanks, MarkHawk, I left a comment.
Additionally, I did some research and found the following. The disturbing thing is that this was written, mostly, in 2006 and predicts dire straits for our planet. Sir David Attenborough has insight and experience. He warns strongly!

http://www.lightpollution.org.uk/index.php?pageId=6


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darkchairman
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405757 - 09/05/12 11:13 PM

The searchlights will be visible much farther than ten miles away. See the attached documents.
On December 15, 1939, when the movie "Gone With the Wind" premiered in Atlanta, The Atlanta Constitution reported that the searchlights were visible for 65 miles. A 65-mile radius from Philadelphia reaches to Staten Island, New York; Dover, Delaware; Ocean City, New Jersey; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Aberdeen, Maryland.
In September 1986, when a car dealership advertised in The Atlanta Journal that it was sweeping the sky with two huge searchlights, they were visible far beyond 25 miles away. The dealership was 25 miles from Villa Rica. The searchlights were about 8 feet in diameter and mounted on trailers. Part of my article in the Atlanta Astronomy Club newsletter is attached and describes the outcome.
Tom Buchanan

(Image from another source removed)

Edited by csa/montana (09/07/12 12:06 PM)


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405768 - 09/05/12 11:24 PM

Quote:

Please leave some comments at this site, either via Facebook or directly on the blog at the bottom:

Another site for comments




Thanks for posting that link. My comments were immediately posted after I hit "submit."


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: darkchairman]
      #5405890 - 09/06/12 12:45 AM

Tom, thanks for posting and welcome to Cloudy Nights!

I'm sure you're right that 10 miles is an underestimate of the distance from which Open Air will be visible. I got the 10 mile figure from Lozano-Hemmer's web site, not an objective source.

Geoff


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405930 - 09/06/12 01:29 AM

Thanks for posting the link, Mawkhawk. I just posted a comment to the uwishunu blog. Most of the facebook comments were very disappointing.

Geoff


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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5406123 - 09/06/12 07:51 AM

Geez, I don't see any comments after my Ben Franklin comment last night. They must have turned off new comments just like the other sites did. Very nice. I guess when they say to please leave a comment they must mean please only leave positive comments....

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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5406178 - 09/06/12 08:44 AM

Hey, here is an article about opposition to this project, posted just this morning. Near the bottom are comments from Astronomy Magazine and others. You can also leave comments.

http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/comment/article/1151319--blinded-by-the-art-open-air-light-installation-raises-environmental-air-traffic-safety-concerns


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5406231 - 09/06/12 09:41 AM

MawkHawk, that link is a very good commentary from a media source. The testing during the September dark window... well, that's another issue.

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5407140 - 09/06/12 07:39 PM

here's a recap of links on this subject. Additional links to related groups of interest have been included. Some links are specific to this thread and lead to groups involved in the project one way or another.

1. http://www.darksky.org/
2. http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5392137/Main/4939033#Post5392137
3. http://www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-philadelphia#comment-8404
4. http://associationforpublicart.org/open-air/
5. https://www.facebook.com/assocforPublicArt?ref=search&sid=677131930.2896771940..1&v=wall
6. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10152034971675401&id=142158105400
7. https://www.facebook.com/lvaas.astro
8. https://www.facebook.com/TheFranklinInstitute?ref=search&sid=671735097.2243181252..1
9. https://www.facebook.com/RittenhouseAstronomy
10. http://www.wyncoteaudubon.org/
11. http://www.rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org/
12. http://www2.fi.edu/exhibits/permanent/bloomobservatory.php
13. http://www.uwishunu.com/2012/08/save-the-date-the-world-premiere-of-open-air-the-giant-interactive-3-d-light-installation-coming-to-the-skies-above-the-benjamin-franklin-parkway-is-set-for-thursday-september-20-at-730-p/comment-page-1/#comment-54839
14. http://www.tchd.org/benfranklin.htm
15. http://www.farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2008/03/03/ben-franklins-letter-to-the-editor-re-saving-daylight/
16. http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-23/news/31813319_1_daniel-klem-birds-audubon-pennsylvania
17. http://nycaudubon.org/project-safe-flight
18. http://nycaudubon.org/about-us
19. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast15nov_1/


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ForgottenMObject
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5419562 - 09/13/12 05:07 PM

We used to have "unique, dynamic light formations" in the sky. They were called stars, and they blazed away in constellations.

Sadly, they've been replaced now with endless light pollution, but the notion of adding more light pollution as art is just silly. And, as others have said, if they cared at all about the environment and the impacts of this wasteful nonsense, they wouldn't be doing it in the first place, vs. "mitigating" it while continuing full-speed ahead.

Who even uses searchlights anymore to get people's attention? When was the last time somebody actually drove someplace new just because they saw a searchlight in that general direction and felt a need to track down its source? Has anyone done this in the past 30+ years??

Edited by ForgottenMObject (09/13/12 05:10 PM)


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5419673 - 09/13/12 06:07 PM

Tom, again thanks for going the extra mile, & taking the time to post the links here!

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5420274 - 09/14/12 12:12 AM

Thanks Carol.

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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5420698 - 09/14/12 10:19 AM

A neighbor who refuses to shield a glaring porch light when asked politely to do so, or a celebrated "artiste" who acts in a similar manner, but on a larger scale... one may have a larger entourage than the other, but both are cut from the same bolt of cloth.

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5420723 - 09/14/12 10:46 AM

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5421209 - 09/14/12 04:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5421750 - 09/14/12 11:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.




Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.


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BigC
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5421824 - 09/15/12 01:19 AM

Kfrank,

Excellent post.

I suggest the fear of the dark is actually rational in that darkness has been that which hid many dangers,from the loose pebble that will sprain an ankle to the two-or-four predators to the insect or snake to the unseen cliff.

Several years ago in Cincinnati a police oficer jumped to his death when he leapt over a bridge railing in the dark while chasing a suspect ,apparently thinking there was a walkway on the other side.It was foolish to jump where one cannot see but it was also another reason for most people to think MORE lights are needed,not fewer.

Astronomy is the only non-criminal activity that comes to mind which actually requires darkness outside at night.


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5422064 - 09/15/12 09:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.




Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.





Ken, a very excellent post.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5422066 - 09/15/12 09:37 AM

Quote:


Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...





Their actions indict them; I merely pointed out them out.


Quote:

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.





You appear to be condemning me out of hand, by conflating an observation, e.g., my opinion regarding the means necessary to achieve a major reduction in light pollution in populated areas, with a desire to see such eventualities come to pass. Come now, do you really believe that I wish for totalitarianism or the collapse of civilization in order to better see the stars?


Quote:

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.





I am opining that "that day" will never exist again, at least in our lifetimes, short of very unpleasant, and as I previously stated, undesirable circumstances.


Quote:

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".





Humanity's enjoyment of artificial light is only natural, as we don't see all that well in the dark; however, a single candle isn't what is being discussed here, but literally quadrillions of candle equivalents. To use an analogy: one or two drinks in an evening makes for a social drinker; ten or twelve makes for an alcoholic. I posit that humanity is drunk on too much light (and energy use in general), and is destroying itself by means of this addiction. That is the reason for my statement concerning the only likely end to light pollution... most addicts can overcome their addiction with willpower combined with a great deal of outside intervention, but when the will is lacking, inasmuch as there is no will to reduce the overuse of lighting, and sufficient outside forces are not present to make for a "soft landing", the situation grinds its way to a relatively inevitable conclusion.


Quote:

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.




This last sentence is at the very crux of the dilemma... the inherent belief that darkness is somehow intrinsically bad or evil... it is just these kind of ingrained misconceptions that humanity must rise above if we are to have any hope for the future.


Quote:

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.




That all sounds very nice, but in my opinion (there's that word again) a majority of the populace is not capable of working against their own self-interest as they perceive it, at least to any degree that would overcome their innate desires for more light, more energy use, more (fill in the blanks).

You see, I believe that we are of two differing beliefs, that really have no nexus... whereas you seem to believe that most people can be brought to an understanding by teaching and persuasion, I believe the very opposite, based on my experience. Since I do not advocate authoritarianism nor systemic collapse (please take note), I feel that there is no real solution to the light pollution dilemma, at least in the vicinity of large population centers; humanity will maintain its present course, the light domes will not diminish, and all will remain as it is until the status quo can no longer be supported.


Quote:

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.




Very lofty sounding, but ultimately unworkable, in my opinion... and opinion is what I am presenting here, not advocation. Humanity has failed to restrain itself, which will almost certainly lead to the imposition of restraints designed by natural forces. Any condemnation it receives it has brought upon itself; as for brute force, nature is more than capable of supplying that, and ultimately will.



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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5422137 - 09/15/12 10:43 AM

If we all retain a negative attitude that LP cannot, nor will not be reduced; then you are 100% correct, it will not be reduced.

Each little "victory" of individuals reducing LP; towns reducing LP; major cities becoming aware of LP, & trying to reduce it; is a start. It will not happen overnight, nor in our lifetime; but we cannot just give up, and not try to get the message out about LP. That's what this forum is about, trying to get LP reduced. We cannot give up hope; rather keep trying, one light at a time.


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BigC
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5422175 - 09/15/12 11:09 AM

I believe the best answer is somehow getting everyone ,including cities, to use lighting that only lights the needed area.

It is not that most people want to shine lights into the sky and waste electricity,it is simple that most light sold or offered for the past 100 years have been omni-directional rather than directional.

All too many places are lit by lights that glare in the eyes as well as illuminate the path intended, simply because the CHEAP and CONVENIENT TO INSTALL light is the light nearly everyone will use,as opposed to the better but more expensive light. Installation cost is often the biggest dollar factor in lighting choice .


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5422217 - 09/15/12 11:31 AM

I'd really like to believe that a positive attitude will help push light pollution back, I truly would; I take absolutely no pleasure from my position, but I have to call it as I see it... and I see us losing. For every light that we manage to get turned off, many, many others are turned on - it's like Hercules battling the Hydra. At least in the myth, he managed to defeat the monster... as for us, the skies over areas with any substantial population are getting brighter and brighter every year, despite our efforts.

I do not consider myself a pessimist, even though others may; I do my best to look at issues objectively, and bring a lifetime of experience to bear on them. Perhaps in localized areas, where people operate on a generally higher level of thought, or where there is wise jurisprudence in effect, the possibility exists to beat back light pollution, but it would be a rare occurence; Tucson is the only area that comes to mind, and what would be its status were there not major observatories located nearby?

Light pollution is but one symptom of a civilization in decline, where the problems created are incapable of resolution due to the overriding complexity of the issues, and the resistance of its population to change; history holds many such examples. I dearly wish it were otherwise, but to think that we are exceptional would be little more than hubris.


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5422246 - 09/15/12 12:01 PM

"This last sentence is at the very crux of the dilemma... the inherent belief that darkness is somehow intrinsically bad or evil..."

Yet, according to certain religious texts, In the Beginning, there was darkness; which would indicate that darkness was the natural state of things till something came along and upset the balance.....


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5422473 - 09/15/12 03:01 PM

Amicus, my wish for you is that your life is not as bleak as your outlook!

That said, I have been married to an artist for 30 years. My wife is an artist in the realest sense of the word. Lots of folks call themselves artists but she lives to create, and teach and appreciate art. It's part of her and has been since childhood. She would undoubtedly appreciate the project discussed here for it's artistic value even though she might not like the LP implications. This project is really no different from other environmental art projects, such as those done by Christo. They are indeed art - and, they tend to be controversial.

"It is an "art" project involving search lights in Philadelphia, PA."

The above is a quote from the posting that started this thread. Note the quotation marks around the word art. They belong to the OP, not to me. And, they reflect a common thread among the general public - that being that "This can't be REAL art, 'cause it's not painting or sculpture or, well, you know, it isn't REALLY art". You hear it all the time.

Without getting into a philosophical discussion of what constitutes art, let me just say that this project is indeed, art! Whether one likes or dislikes it has no bearing on that. Whether it is deemed appropriate has no bearing on its validity as art. And, the Op's opinion, as stated clearly above, has no bearing either.

I submit that this display is nothing more that a fireworks display. It lights up the night sky - just like a fireworks display. It uses shapes and designs. Just like a fireworks display. However, instead of being fueled by gunpowder and chemicals and being very transitory, it is fueled by electricity and is far less transitory.

This project, and others like it are pretty much insignificant in the great scheme of the light pollution problem. If we use these kinds of projects as the focus of our campaign to reduce light pollution, we risk losing the battle by shooting at the wrong target.

The problem is not art projects - it is street lights of the wrong kind in places where street lights are not needed. It is grotesque, glaring signage on the roofs of buildings. It is lighted billboards studding the roadsides of America. It is the attitudes and misconceptions about the nature of darkness and the use of light that are the problem. And it is here that we must focus our efforts. Perhaps if we do that, the artists creating such projects will begin to have a different prospective.

I for one, chose to be hopeful!


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5422824 - 09/15/12 07:34 PM

Fred, I don't think you're a pessimist (but you're certainly not little Mary Sunshine either ). And I don't blame you for not being sanguine about the short or long term prospects for reducing light pollution barring some kind of undesirable authoritarian intervention or catastrophe. Although I do epidemiological research for a living, I'm an anthropologist by training and I'm familiar with the sociocultural and demographic trends that do not bode well for our efforts to control light pollution (not to mention the survival of civilization--as we know it). Population growth by itself could counter any gains we make, our economic system encourages present-oriented self-indulgent over-consumption aided and abetted by a value system that promotes individualism over responsibility to others. You're also correct that history can supply many examples in which societies failed to respond to challenges and experienced decline and demise.

On the other hand, there are other examples demonstrating that people and the societies in which they live can make astonishingly dramatic and rapid changes. Positive sociocultural changes witnessed in the last century should at least be taken as evidence that our cause is not hopeless even if it is daunting (I realize that "positive" in the preceding may be open to interpretation, but that is another debate entirely and runs the risk of becoming overtly political). Nevertheless, changes in attitudes can come about in many different ways and it is sometimes the case that a seemingly insignificant change acts as a catalyst for major changes. I apologize for not including specific examples, but I'm trying to write within the confines of CN policy.

We are at the beginning of serious investigation of the impact of light pollution on the ecosystem. It's going to take a lot of time and effort to break through into broad public consciousness, but as we accumulate evidence of the threat to biodiversity and public health, and the economic waste that light pollution represents, and demonstrate that less outdoor lighting actually improves security, we have a reasonable chance of slowing and hopefully reversing light pollution.

Geoff


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5422883 - 09/15/12 08:18 PM

I have an art project proposal called "Open Ear." It consists of 24 powerful air raid sirens on computer-controlled mountings that will create unique, dynamic sound patterns which respond to voice messages supplied by the public. Playback of the messages will change the frequency, wavelength, and amplitude of the sound waves generated by the sirens. This sound show would run for 32 consecutive nights from 8 pm to 11 pm in Philadelphia and would be audible from a distance of 10 miles.

The environmental impact of this project would be mitigated by purchasing carbon offsets and by monitoring any harm done to wildlife.

Some may call this noise pollution, but I call it art. In anticipation of criticism, I believe opponents of noise pollution should exempt this temporary sound show and focus their efforts on the sources of perpetual noise in the city.

I'm certain that this sound show would not be funded nor receive approval from city authorities. What I'm trying to figure out is why Open Air is deemed acceptable by the funders and the city, but Open Ear is so obviously unacceptable. To my mind they are fundamentally the same (despite different choice of media) since they both trespass on public open space, serve no essential public need that cannot be fulfilled in private confined venues, represent threats to wildlife and public health, and deprive some segment of the public from enjoying the more or less unadulterated public open space.

Could the difference in acceptability hinge primarily on the extent to which people can escape from exposure to sound versus light? If I don't want to see Open Air, I can go inside and close my blinds, but if I don't want to hear Open Ear, going indoors may not be enough--and if the sirens are audible at 10 miles it would probably take a fair amount of sound proofing to keep the noise out anywhere near ground zero.

If this is so, then Open Ear might pass muster if the peak volume were kept below the level at which it could be heard indoors. However, the show would be much less impressive.

And making a very big impression is the goal of Open Ear and Open Air. It seems to me that the scale of Open Air is what makes the project objectionable: i.e., 24 high power searchlights running for 32 consecutive nights for three hours at a time.

This insistence on grand scale is what argues against Lozano-Hemmer being taken seriously as an artist insofar as this project is concerned. Open Air is more an ego trip (an expression that will certainly date me) than an authentic work of art. By the way, like Ken, I'm married to an artist. I'm also a card carrying member of the Art Institute of Chicago, a lifelong supporter of the arts, and a fan of contemporary art.

And I submit that the disrespect for others represented by Open Air's grand scale is what truly rankles. I think Fred (amicus sidera) was alluding to this when he spoke of the "neighbor who refuses to shield a glaring porch light when asked politely to do so." Even if light pollution presented no harm to public health or wildlife, outdoor lighting beyond what is absolutely necessary for public safety would still be objectionable because it deprives people of the enjoyment of the dark night sky. Assuming, of course, that you have any respect for the rights of others.

Geoff


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5423605 - 09/16/12 11:38 AM

Quote:

Amicus, my wish for you is that your life is not as bleak as your outlook!




Yor well-wishes are much appreciated, but have no fear; my life is not defined by the adversities that I encounter! That I hold out little hope of the light pollution dilemma's rectification brings me no joy, but it cannot rob me of my equanimity.

As far as the definition of art is concerned, I think that there could be almost 7 billion takes on that, all quite legitimate. One can ascribe to it solely the aesthetics of beauty and truth, or, like Tolstoy, consider it, among other things, a means of communicating feelings... or something else entirely.

Is this "Open Air" project indeed art? Of course it is, to some... primarily those who, by reason of their wealth, or position in the "art world", have set themselves up, unbidden, as arbiters of public taste.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5423661 - 09/16/12 12:19 PM

Quote:

Fred, I don't think you're a pessimist (but you're certainly not little Mary Sunshine either ).




No, that appellation would be pretty far from the mark! However, I'm not all that doomy; save for when I clearly see the writing on the wall, as well as the disembodied hand that produced it...


Quote:

And I don't blame you for not being sanguine about the short or long term prospects for reducing light pollution barring some kind of undesirable authoritarian intervention or catastrophe. Although I do epidemiological research for a living, I'm an anthropologist by training and I'm familiar with the sociocultural and demographic trends that do not bode well for our efforts to control light pollution (not to mention the survival of civilization--as we know it). Population growth by itself could counter any gains we make, our economic system encourages present-oriented self-indulgent over-consumption aided and abetted by a value system that promotes individualism over responsibility to others. You're also correct that history can supply many examples in which societies failed to respond to challenges and experienced decline and demise.

On the other hand, there are other examples demonstrating that people and the societies in which they live can make astonishingly dramatic and rapid changes. Positive sociocultural changes witnessed in the last century should at least be taken as evidence that our cause is not hopeless even if it is daunting (I realize that "positive" in the preceding may be open to interpretation, but that is another debate entirely and runs the risk of becoming overtly political). Nevertheless, changes in attitudes can come about in many different ways and it is sometimes the case that a seemingly insignificant change acts as a catalyst for major changes. I apologize for not including specific examples, but I'm trying to write within the confines of CN policy.




You are certainly in a much better position than I to make a judgement as to whither we are going, as your training gives you a firm grasp of human culture and interaction. I am indeed aware of instances (per CN policy, I will not detail them, either) where seemingly small occurrences blossomed into large-scale, civilization-encompassing events that brought positive changes... perhaps we're closer to a solution to the LP problem than is realized. After all, it's not like cleaning up toxic waste... all that has to be done, collectively, is to throw a percentage of the right switches, and the night sky will once again return.

Quote:

We are at the beginning of serious investigation of the impact of light pollution on the ecosystem. It's going to take a lot of time and effort to break through into broad public consciousness, but as we accumulate evidence of the threat to biodiversity and public health, and the economic waste that light pollution represents, and demonstrate that less outdoor lighting actually improves security, we have a reasonable chance of slowing and hopefully reversing light pollution.




My hope is that, as a culture, we are able to do this before it is forced upon us, in one form or another.


p.s. If you're serious about your "Open Ears" project, I'd be happy to send along a few bucks to get things rolling... I'm sure that Rafael would approve, seeing as he's so cutting-edge and all; perhaps it could be set up in proximity to one of his residences, so that he could more easily appreciate its tonal qualities?... but I jest...

Seriously, it would be interesting to apply for a permit for such an exhibit... one would most likely get turned down as the sound would be at "nuisance" levels. Interesting that sound is easily recognized as a nuisance, and yet light isn't? I suspect grand hypocrisy here, although it is true that one can close one's eyes easier than one's ears.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5423691 - 09/16/12 12:32 PM

Four days till we see what really turns out. I heard that Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute has decided to join in on the project with the idea that the lights could be used to do a bit of astronomy outreach and point to some things like the Moon. For me, this is a slap and spit into the face of what anti light pollution efforts needs. I urge everyone to besiege the Institute and tell them that if they can't object outwardly, then do nothing and let the chips fall where they may. Using this abomination in any astronomy activity only fuels the artists war chest with the ability to say, "see, the astronomy guys think it's Okay. They are doing astronomy with it" and that is the sad outcome, I think>
Here is a copy of an email I managed to receive and thought it would be of interest to everyone. From it, you can decide what action, if any, would be appropriate for yourself.


Greetings Everyone;
The following was deleted at the request of the Moderator. Sorry.


Edited by TOM O (09/16/12 01:07 PM)


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5423761 - 09/16/12 01:17 PM

"p.s. If you're serious about your "Open Ears" project, I'd be happy to send along a few bucks to get things rolling... I'm sure that Rafael would approve, seeing as he's so cutting-edge and all; perhaps it could be set up in proximity to one of his residences, so that he could more easily appreciate its tonal qualities?... but I jest...

Seriously, it would be interesting to apply for a permit for such an exhibit... one would most likely get turned down as the sound would be at "nuisance" levels. Interesting that sound is easily recognized as a nuisance, and yet light isn't? I suspect grand hypocrisy here, although it is true that one can close one's eyes easier than one's ears. "

*************************

You can draw some parallels between light and sound insofar as deletorious or nuisance value is concerned. However there are significant differences between the two.

Excessive sound is far more damaging than excessive light. With light, one can escape it - perhaps by closing one's eyes, or by turning one's head, or simply by going into a dark room.

Excessively loud sounds, however, can be almost impossible to escape. Oh, sure, you could enter a soundproofed room, but how many of us have them available to us? The fact is, it's far easier to shut out unwanted light than unwanted sound.

Therein lies the likely reason that sound is recognized as a nuisance and light is not.

Neither, in excess, however, is a good thing.

As to the desire of the local Astronomer to work with the artist and those behind the exhibition, I couldn't disagree more with the poster who advocated an angry, adversarial response.

Like it or not, we in the astro community are in the significant minority and the sooner we realize that we cannot win by simply overwhelming our opponents, the better off we'll be. Ultimately, right may indeed be on our side - but "might" is not. And an angry opponent is MUCH harder to deal with, and often much more determined, than a calm and reasonable person.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5423965 - 09/16/12 03:43 PM

I just sent a message to Knight Arts, the Open Air funder, asking if they would consider donating a sum of money equal to what was spent on Open Air, for the expressed purpose of refitting Philadephia street lights with full cutoff fixtures.

I didn't have the moxie to ask them if they would be interested in funding "Open Ear."

Geoff


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5424099 - 09/16/12 05:07 PM

Quote:


Like it or not, we in the astro community are in the significant minority and the sooner we realize that we cannot win by simply overwhelming our opponents, the better off we'll be. Ultimately, right may indeed be on our side - but "might" is not. And an angry opponent is MUCH harder to deal with, and often much more determined, than a calm and reasonable person.




So, how's that "calm and reasonable" approach been working out for us so far?

Your recommendations must sound very fine, delivered as they are from the relative darkness of northern Colorado; heard here in New Jersey, under red-tending-towards-white zone skies, they have a hollow ring to them.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5424118 - 09/16/12 05:25 PM

It would appear that both the Open Air project and the Franklin Institute share a major donor.

Open Air Project

Franklin Institute donors

I draw no inferences from this.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5424283 - 09/16/12 07:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Like it or not, we in the astro community are in the significant minority and the sooner we realize that we cannot win by simply overwhelming our opponents, the better off we'll be. Ultimately, right may indeed be on our side - but "might" is not. And an angry opponent is MUCH harder to deal with, and often much more determined, than a calm and reasonable person.




So, how's that "calm and reasonable" approach been working out for us so far?

Your recommendations must sound very fine, delivered as they are from the relative darkness of northern Colorado; heard here in New Jersey, under red-tending-towards-white zone skies, they have a hollow ring to them.




It's generally true that ad hominem attacks do not win converts to your cause (whatever it may be). And we would all do well to remember that there is a wider audience to our exchanges, an audience that may look with less favor on our positions if we engage in angry rhetoric.

Have light pollution opponents made any progress via calm rational discussion? I believe that calm rationality is the primary approach of the IDA in dealing with the lighting industry and city governments and I think the IDA has made progress.

As you say, fighting light pollution is a herculean task. But the astronomy community does have natural allies and we're not alone in this. I believe Ken errs in his estimation of the impact that a vocal minority can have on policy. I cite contemporary American politics in support of this.

Geoff


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5424305 - 09/16/12 08:02 PM

Quote:

It would appear that both the Open Air project and the Franklin Institute share a major donor.

Open Air Project

Franklin Institute donors

I draw no inferences from this.




"Follow the money," eh? I took a look at the Knight Foundation web site and I think the organization may be sympathetic to environmental concerns--at least I saw nothing that was hostile.

Geoff


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5424414 - 09/16/12 09:14 PM

Quote:



It's generally true that ad hominem attacks do not win converts to your cause (whatever it may be). And we would all do well to remember that there is a wider audience to our exchanges, an audience that may look with less favor on our positions if we engage in angry rhetoric.




So, we shouldn't display the least bit of righteous anger and indignation towards those individuals, groups and organizations that have effectively stolen, and continue to steal, a birthright from us? Amateur astronomers are for all intents and purposes invisible to the planners, decision makers and public at large; at this point, any attention would be welcome... but we'd have to follow it up with action, not a bunch of wheel-spinning on an internet forum. Not going to happen anyway, so don't worry about it... the demographics of amateur astronomy, at least in the U.S., seems to consist primarily of well-off, well-fed older white males, which is the group least likely to rock the boat.


Quote:

Have light pollution opponents made any progress via calm rational discussion? I believe that calm rationality is the primary approach of the IDA in dealing with the lighting industry and city governments and I think the IDA has made progress.




Progress - where? Where is all of this progress that's more-or-less continually referred to on this forum? It sure isn't in any metropolitan area or suburb that I know of, unless you consider getting a few lights removed as fifty more are installed "progress". While I agree with the "rational" part of your statement, I think the time is long past to abandon the "calm" part... but as I stated above, it ultimately won't make any difference.

Quote:

As you say, fighting light pollution is a herculean task. But the astronomy community does have natural allies and we're not alone in this. I believe Ken errs in his estimation of the impact that a vocal minority can have on policy. I cite contemporary American politics in support of this.

Geoff




I disagree; we are completely alone in this. Our environmental allies have much bigger things on their collective plates than light pollution... I would posit that light pollution ranks dead last on their long cleanup list (and rightly so). We may get lip service, memorandums of understanding, and other such niceties, but usually little else.

Look, the proof's in the pudding: Is the night sky over the populated areas of the U.S. darker now than it was twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even five years ago? If not, then any progress claimed must be for the most part illusory in nature.


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5424646 - 09/16/12 11:57 PM

Quote:

the demographics of amateur astronomy, at least in the U.S., seems to consist primarily of well-off, well-fed older white males,




Seeing the membership just here on CN, I strongly disagree with this. Most of the members work hard for their astronomy equipment, and are far from well-off. We'd be interested in where you got this information.

As far as nothing can be done to reverse, or at least halt LP; it will not happen if all of us simply throw up our hands & accept defeat.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5424655 - 09/17/12 12:08 AM

Now you've gone and made me feel nostalgic.

This is the same debate I had with people over forty years ago. Things were bad and getting worse. Should we respond in anger. Had we made any difference. Was anyone on our side.

I'm going to put on some Dylan and see if I can't make this feeling last.

Geoff


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5424937 - 09/17/12 07:43 AM

Quote:

Quote:

the demographics of amateur astronomy, at least in the U.S., seems to consist primarily of well-off, well-fed older white males,




Seeing the membership just here on CN, I strongly disagree with this. Most of the members work hard for their astronomy equipment, and are far from well-off.




Sorry, Carol -- the statement is unquestionably true. We at Sky & Telescope know this from reader surveys, from attending club meetings all over the country, star parties, and trade shows.

There are plenty of women in amateur astronomy, but they're outnumbered by men easily 3 or 4 to 1. There are shockingly few African-Americans, though Asians are well represented, and there are an increasing number of Hispanics. And the average age is quite high; we joke at S&T that our average reader is 80 years old and has been reading S&T for most of his life.

As for well-off -- it depends what that means to you. Most well-off people work very hard; the poor people are the ones who can't find jobs -- and there are tons of them. There are also huge numbers who labor at minimum-wage jobs; very few of them are amateur astronomers.

I'm sure that the average income of amateur astronomers is well above the national average.

Mind you, this is all just averages. Of course there are plenty of exceptions.

Tony Flanders
Associate Editor, Sky & Telescope


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Tori
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5424947 - 09/17/12 07:52 AM

If you think you've heard the viewpoint of pessimisim in this thread so far I humbly disagree... For my fears are far worse.

I'm worried that we're much more likely to see giant space mirrors lighting up the night than we are likely to improve light pollution to any meaningful degree anywhere. All the minuscule efforts of little communities deciding to make a difference will be obliterated.

But my post here and now is not solely to share my pessimistic outlook on light pollution... But rather to say if anyone seriously decides to undertake "open ear" as a protest art project, I would love to make a substantial donation. There has to be some way to beat it into their skulls that they're ruining the world with their light.

Light pollution isn't art, is more like arson, it destroys, taking something away, likely forever.


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barasits
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Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5425931 - 09/17/12 05:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

the demographics of amateur astronomy, at least in the U.S., seems to consist primarily of well-off, well-fed older white males,




Seeing the membership just here on CN, I strongly disagree with this. Most of the members work hard for their astronomy equipment, and are far from well-off.




Sorry, Carol -- the statement is unquestionably true. We at Sky & Telescope know this from reader surveys, from attending club meetings all over the country, star parties, and trade shows...





Tony, I think Fred's statement is "unquestionably true" only because it's unquestionably vague: the terms "primarily", "well-off", "well-fed", and "older", are so broad and relative that the statement can be considered true according to the interpretation you choose to apply.

S&T reader surveys, club and star party participation, and trade show attendance are biased samples of the amateur astronomy community. We'd even have difficulty agreeing on the defining characteristics of an amateur astronomer.

I have no concrete evidence, but after many years of reading posts on CN, my impression is that the amateur astronomy community is not quite so badly skewed.

Geoff

Edited by barasits (09/18/12 08:02 AM)


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tori]
      #5426094 - 09/17/12 07:43 PM

Quote:

If you think you've heard the viewpoint of pessimisim in this thread so far I humbly disagree... For my fears are far worse.

I'm worried that we're much more likely to see giant space mirrors lighting up the night than we are likely to improve light pollution to any meaningful degree anywhere. All the minuscule efforts of little communities deciding to make a difference will be obliterated.




The idea of mirrors in space lighting up the world was recently revived by a source that CN policy prohibits me from mentioning. But it's not a practical idea and I consider it virtually impossible if only because its intent would be suspect and therefore politically destabilizing in the international arena.

Let's not underestimate the "minuscule efforts of little communities"! I remember in 1980 when Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) first appeared. One woman started MADD. It took a long time and MADD faced powerful opposition but they've been effective in reducing deaths from drunk driving. Look around and you'll find many other examples. The status quo relies on our pessimism and inaction

Quote:

But my post here and now is not solely to share my pessimistic outlook on light pollution... But rather to say if anyone seriously decides to undertake "open ear" as a protest art project, I would love to make a substantial donation. There has to be some way to beat it into their skulls that they're ruining the world with their light.

Light pollution isn't art, is more like arson, it destroys, taking something away, likely forever.




I was using Open Ear as a way of trying to determine why noise pollution seems to be easier for people to grasp than light pollution. It would be interesting to find out on what grounds Open Ear would be rejected by the city or the funding agency. Lack of artistic merit no doubt. At any rate, we need to come up with more creative ways to attract attention to the problem.

Geoff

Edited by barasits (09/17/12 11:30 PM)


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5426388 - 09/17/12 10:24 PM

After having some issues with some postings, I am reluctant to dive too deeply into linking people to information outside of authorized resources, so, I will hint, instead.
There is an observatory in Philadelphia that is housed in the Franklin Institute. It is called the Bloom Observatory. They are associated with the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society.

They have emailed me and informed me that IDA links are now "front and center" on their homepage. I took a look and low and behold, the link is right next to the link to "Open Air Philly"!

I wrote a response to them and stated my thoughts. It is well worth understanding the gross misjudgment that seems connected to the idea they have.

Anyway, I assume I may have already unwittingly crossed lines I don't understand. Please feel free to manage as required. Apologies in advance. Thanks.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5426499 - 09/17/12 11:51 PM

Quote:


Tony, I think Fred's statement is "unquestionably true" only because it's unquestionably vague--not unlike finding truth in the writings of Nostradamus.




...and with this turn in the conversation, I bid you all a good evening.

(Having my comments compared to the works of a necromancer is a new one... I'll add it to my life list.)


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5426611 - 09/18/12 12:54 AM

Quote:

...and with this turn in the conversation, I bid you all a good evening.

(Having my comments compared to the works of a necromancer is a new one... I'll add it to my life list.)




I've edited the offensive language and offer you my humble apology.

Geoff


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5427327 - 09/18/12 12:48 PM

Quote:

Now you've gone and made me feel nostalgic.

This is the same debate I had with people over forty years ago. Things were bad and getting worse. Should we respond in anger. Had we made any difference. Was anyone on our side.

I'm going to put on some Dylan and see if I can't make this feeling last.

Geoff




The more things change, the more they stay the same.....


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5427546 - 09/18/12 02:28 PM

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5427760 - 09/18/12 04:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff




And just what kind of response do you expect???

You made a suggestion so ridiculous that it stands no chance of getting any consideration whatever - and you expect something more than a "boilerplate" response.

You could, on the other hand, have made a suggestion that was sensible and practicable. Such as, that they make a donation to some entity that is trying to raise awareness with regards to light pollution.

That MAY have had a glimmer of hope of doing some good. But, I'm sure your way made you feel better.


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barasits
sage


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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5427971 - 09/18/12 06:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff




Quote:

And just what kind of response do you expect???




I think I made that clear when I said I expected a boilerplate reply.

Quote:

You made a suggestion so ridiculous that it stands no chance of getting any consideration whatever - and you expect something more than a "boilerplate" response.




No, I think I made it clear that I wasn't expecting anything more than a boilerplate reply. And I'll have you know that the suggestion you called "ridiculous" isn't even in the top ten stupid things I've done so far this week.

Quote:

You could, on the other hand, have made a suggestion that was sensible and practicable. Such as, that they make a donation to some entity that is trying to raise awareness with regards to light pollution.




I think your suggestion is great.

Quote:

That MAY have had a glimmer of hope of doing some good. But, I'm sure your way made you feel better.




Rather than spend time criticizing me, why not write to the Knight Foundation about your suggestion.

The tone of your post is hostile. If there is something I have written that offended you, I apologize.

Geoff


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5428543 - 09/19/12 12:50 AM

In an informative and constructive conversation with the chief astronomer at the Bloom Observatory this morning, it was agreed that he will present the suggestion, to the city fathers of Philadelphia, that at a point midway through the Open Air Philly event, the city should turn off all lights in an effort to see if the Milky Way can be made visible to the entire population of the region. Who knows if this will happen, but civil dialog with the key people in the area is creating positive feedback. There is lots to do in reforming the insights of those who are not fully aware of the implications of light pollution, but a steady hand on the rudder will keep the effort heading in the right direction.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5428561 - 09/19/12 01:00 AM

Tom, once again; thanks! That would be exciting, if it was to come about!

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5428581 - 09/19/12 01:11 AM

One can only hope for the best... Thanks, Carol.

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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5429092 - 09/19/12 11:48 AM

as if man's feable attempts could even come close to matching the beauty of the night sky......

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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5429273 - 09/19/12 01:53 PM

"I'll have you know that the suggestion you called "ridiculous" isn't even in the top ten stupid things I've done so far this week.

Rather than spend time criticizing me, why not write to the Knight Foundation about your suggestion.

The tone of your post is hostile. If there is something I have written that offended you, I apologize.

Geoff"


The following is quoted directly from the Knight Foundation website:

"Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged."

Jus as a point of information, this is a foundation that is
active in all the cities in which the Knight family owned newspapers. So, it is a much broader scope organization than just Philadelphia.

A further injection of facts :

This project is actually under the auspices of the Fairmont Park Art Association. This organization has applied to, and is deriving funding for the project, from the Knight Foundation.

First of all, I'm not hostile. I just believe you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Your suggestion (and I still regard it as ridiculous) was clearly not intended to elicit a serious response.

So why make a suggestion so far out that it gets dismissed out of hand and trivializes your argument?

Also, why has no-one bothered contact the prople actually sponsoring this exhibition?

I don't disgree that (valid) complaints to knight or FPPA are called for. That's the way minds get changed - through an exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Through an understanding of how factors that might not have been thought of affect the environment and other people. It's the way polite, rational society does business.

Nope, not hostile - just discouraged that you chose the low road in dealing with this problem.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429324 - 09/19/12 02:19 PM

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter. thanks. Tom
As a bit of info, if the posted links are reviewed by those willing to post on this thread, it will become clear that much discussion and dialog has been established between the artist, the organizers, the Audubon folks, astronomy clubs and organizations in the area, the city of Philadelphia, New York, the art community in both cities, other environmental groups and on and on. The posts here on CN that are personal and misdirected only discredit the entire discussion here and it will soon be irrelevant to discuss the subject on CN as the meaningful dialog will become worthless. Just a thought regarding practical matters....


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5429338 - 09/19/12 02:27 PM

Quote:

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter.




Speaking with Moderator hat on; I agree!

Everyone, let's leave the personal issues aside & get back on track.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5429371 - 09/19/12 02:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter.




Speaking with Moderator hat on; I agree!

Everyone, let's leave the personal issues aside & get back on track.




except for the fact that the discussions above have been focused on HOW we deal with light pollution issues. Dealing with those we feel are causing light pollution in a non-constructive way can not only be ineffective, but indeed, harmful to our cause.

From my perspective, they are less personal issues than issues related to how to effectively bring our message to those who don't share our enthusiasm for the dark.

YMMV!
In any case, I'm done.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429535 - 09/19/12 04:36 PM

Thanks, Carol. I thought this CN discussion, here, was centered the Open Air Philly event and news coming from the guys involved. I think the hope was to inform people about what was going to happen knowing we cannot stop it at this point. Not the philosophy behind it. We realize the philosophy, I believe, and we well represent the choir in all respects.

I feel a bit hampered with the difficulties in openly sharing the content of conversations I have had with a lot of concerned and active organizations working to deal with this particular subject. From the Audubon folks to the astronomy guys, lots is being discussed and the links that have been provided elsewhere in this thread will lead to other places where additional content can be located. In particular is the fast moving discussion that comes from the people directly affected by this event and their plans to be actively involved in educational outreach while the searchlights are being used. There is a big sidewalk astronomy event that will focus on Lunar observing and the chant that viewers will be exposed to, coming from the amateur astronomers, will surely reflect words of reason and insight. They are trying to do the best they can with what they have to deal with. IDA has information and can provide materials to give to people thus sharing information that may prove to be first of any awareness opportunities for most of the city folk in Philadelphia.

For me, I have met, via internet and telephone conversations, a large group of fellow dark sky enthusiasts I would never have met otherwise. This is, in a small way, positive that comes as result of the negative. So, not all bad.

None the less.... winning this war will not be an easy task and Open Air is only one battle. Thanks, Tom


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429700 - 09/19/12 06:41 PM

You mean you thought my basement built EMP Pulse gun idea was better?

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5430172 - 09/20/12 12:32 AM

So much for keeping the energy of this thread on track? Sorry Scott!

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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5430526 - 09/20/12 09:04 AM

Tom: Really like that idea of turning off all the city lights. What better way to finish off a light show then with the best light show they'll ever see..and its free. If they would do that, AND make sure no harm comes to wildlife, if looking at the night sky inspires even one child/person, it would be worth it. To light up the sky just because you can, isn't art, its pollution, but put the message out there that the best light show is after the lights go out.....

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Dark Sky Scott
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5430754 - 09/20/12 11:39 AM

Here is an article on this from today's Philadelphia Inquirer

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20120920_Astronomers_latest_to_object_to_huge_Parkway_light_show.html


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5430878 - 09/20/12 12:46 PM

Well, admitting it is light pollution; yet going ahead with it, sends the wrong signal.

Quote:

"It is true that my work is light-polluting,"




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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5430985 - 09/20/12 01:45 PM

Quote:

Well, admitting it is light pollution; yet going ahead with it, sends the wrong signal.

Quote:

"It is true that my work is light-polluting,"







But, as the artist also said:

"My two cents: Audrey is hurting the dark-sky cause," he said, adding that he appreciated the work of others "who have the civility and the necessary diplomacy to stand up for this issue."

You're right, Carol. And he's right. I have no problem with people complaining, nor with public protesting - so long as the discourse stays reasonable and the protests stay within the bounds of the law.

Belligerance, name calling and antagonistic behaviour in opposition to this project serve to deligitimize the protester and lend credence to the validity of the project.

We as a community should be opposing this project, but we must recognize that, at all costs, we must not compromise our protests by inappropriate or unlawful behaviour.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5430995 - 09/20/12 01:50 PM

Ken, couldn't agree more!

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5431359 - 09/20/12 05:21 PM

The knee jerk reaction for me was to shun the event and admonish those who felt otherwise. In reflection it becomes obvious that other attitudes and actions could prove more valuable. Dr. Pitts has some valid ideas, considering the level of input allowing his effectiveness to do what he would personally wish. It is probable that this discussion is just getting started and the final analysis and retrospective view will bring much more. We may be watching the highest profile light pollution event, so far? And, we have a front row seat. Playing the cards correctly may mean much more than having the best hand. The stakes are far too high to gamble foolishly.

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aezoss
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5432010 - 09/21/12 12:50 AM

Fwiw, I added a rambling missive to this article under the handle 'wavefront'.

Lee


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RobbW
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5432026 - 09/21/12 01:19 AM

Um...

Wow. Just WOW!

I am truly surprised and equally disheartened by the treatment that Audrey Fischer is receiving in response to her opposition to this light-polluting "art" project. By her peers in astronomy and dark-sky advocacy, none the less.

So many people have voiced their opposition to this art project, both here on CN and also in the comment sections of articles reporting on the project. So many people agree that this is a waste and a disgrace to the movement to protect our night skies. Yet, one of our own takes an actual physical stand against this display, and she gets cut down by the very people for whom she is advocating!

Audrey may not be a member of CN, and many of you may not know her personally, but I do! Audrey has been a tireless advocate for dark skies and is constantly going far, Far, FAR out of her way to educate people about the importance of preserving our night skies; quite often at great personal expense, both financially and reputationally (if that is even a word)!

Do you enjoy seeing only a small handful of stars in your local night sky? Do you enjoying having to drive hours upon hours and hundreds of miles to get to dark skies? Audrey is one of the few staunch soldiers in the fight against light pollution who doesn't let others' personal opinions of her deter her from the goal of bringing starlight back to our back yards! She has worked with local, state, and federal agencies to promote starlight preservation. She was pretty much the main person responsible for getting Cook County, IL (one of the largest and most heavily-populated counties in the country) to consider and unanimously vote FOR starlight preservation legislation for all county agencies! She is currently working with the State of Illinois and Governor Quinn's office to make night sky preservation a top priority in Illinois nature areas and the state in general. How many of you can honestly say you've done as much work to protect our night skies???

Audrey may sometimes appear to be firing from the hip, but most of that is due to her deep, abiding love of the night sky and desire to preserve it for future generations. If we just throw in the towel on this one "open air" art project with the justification that it's only temporary, only a few hours a night, and only for a month or so, what kind of defense will we be willing to put up when the next self-righteous "artist" comes along and wants to light up our nights skies for another month or two? And the one after that?

The signature of a poster before me states, "Ask not what dark skies can do for you, rather, ask what you can do for dark skies." Truly, what CAN and ARE you willing to do for dark skies? Besides, of course, merely putting fanciful lines in your signature, posting messages of admiration for dark skies, or simply making a small financial contribution (membership) for someone else to do the work???

If this is the treatment the dark sky movement bestows upon one of its own when they try to fight for our night skies, I'm not sure I want to list my name in the rank and file!


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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RobbW]
      #5432536 - 09/21/12 11:37 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

After an hour and a half of conversation on the phone with Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at one of the most prestigious observatories in the country in terms of history and culture, I came to realize he had his hands tied. The project was completely out of his control. He could have got angry and stomped around, and thus lost his job. He said he was doing his very best to do all he could in view of everything to stop this stupid project, but could do nothing, other than show people how this project would only make the views to the sky worse, and from that, educate people to turn off lights. He told me he is a total supporter of IDA causes and has been since inception. I realized his predicament. He said he felt that the best tool to win his battle was to engage his bosses with reality when they saw with their own eyes how the project negatively impacted the views. He also said that most had a different idea of what city life was like and they simply don't care.. Imagine the challenge of getting everyone to vote your way on something they just don't see your way?

As an advocate in my own neighborhood, I know what it takes to create change in a positive way, as I can only assume Dr. Pitts does in his. For me and the groups I implore, it is a slow and steady hand that will win. One that sees the effort as a learned behavior. Sad but true.

As far as what one does for the benefit of it all, and since I see a quote line from my signature posted I will offer the following as a short list of what I am doing in my back yard with what I have to work with.

Without knowing me, and seeing for yourself what I have done, I am sad to think you know me from the posts only posted here. If I was to to toot my own horn, I would feel like a self serving idiot to me. So, perhaps a little investigation into what I do may enlighten you to realize that there is much more than words on CN coming from me.

Posted here is one of the latest projects suggested by me to our group of dark sky allies, and the outcome. A small but meaningful success. And, success is what is needed in all regard. Remember, people get to "vote" for what they want. To win a war the battles must win votes. In Audrey's case, I hope she can get everyone to vote and vote as she hope and I will vote for her. But, like you said, she is firing from the hip, and right as I agree she is, there are many others who will vote against this, simply because of the nature of the presentation.

An advertising truth goes like this... "I think you should buy this because it would really be good for you and practical". Then, there is the other method, "I think you should buy this because it will make you feel good and you will look marvelous and people will envy you." Saddly, in America, the second approach works best.

Our website, after three years of hard work just passed the 60K mark for unique visitors. It is an astronomy based site with the mission statement seated in dark sky protection. We preach this all the time. But, only 60,000 visitors in three years is nothing! Astronomy is truly a low number interest. Sad, again, but true. I know that by saying "hey, did you see the "*BLEEP*" on the Moon" our count would go way up. I ask you why? And the answer is simple.... human nature... sad but true!

I hate this artists project. I have had direct contact with him and admonished his ideas completely to his face. He was adamant and did not tell the truth. That is who he is. A salesman who is selling something with the idea that people will feel good and look good. That's why he is winning his way. Like people getting a new tattoo. Another vanity affair!

Logic is only so strong. Derrick Pitts knows this. He is bringing his ability in sensibility to have the mayor of Philadelphia look through a telescope and then whisper in his ear, a sweet thought, that might influence his vote. A vote that would mean so much more down the road in a much more positive way? Otherwise, the mayor won't get near him. and who can win anything positive, then.

This is true in my back yard. Without elaboration, we are succeeding! Here is one small example that happened this week and there is more coming. They are voting our way. They look so much better with starlight shining upon them and the Moon's glow lights them so beautifully! Those harsh nasty street lights make them look old and tired..... you see.

Respectfully, Tom


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TOM O
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Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia *DELETED* new [Re: TOM O]
      #5432737 - 09/21/12 01:41 PM

Post deleted by TOM O

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5432842 - 09/21/12 02:21 PM

Gee, wonder what they would have thought of my "art" project: Shut down the power grid to Philly for three hours a night and encourage people to go outside and look up.....my idea's also cheaper.....

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RobbW
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Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5432877 - 09/21/12 02:52 PM

Tom, thank you very much for your very well-reasoned and informative response. Yes, I quoted your signature in my post. However, please do not take that to mean that I was singling you out personally as someone who is talk and no substance. Your efforts are well documented and much appreciated. I was merely trying to emphasize that many of us talk about our love of the night sky and desire for darker skies. Your post just happened to be directly above mine while I was typing and I saw your signature.

The purpose of my post was to express my frustration at the fact that Audrey is being decimated in the press and in article comments and even by some on CN. This makes me very sad because she truly loves the night sky and pours her whole heart in trying to preserve it for everyone.

Yes, she is stepping on the lion's tail (so to speak) with her opposition to "Open Air" and her demonstrations and the posts and emails she is sending out. But this so-called "art" project has really pushed her buttons, or more precisely the arrogance of the artist has really pushed her buttons! She has decided to make it a personal mission of hers to thwart this exhibition by whatever legal means possible. She suspected she would get a lot of flak and probably wouldn't endear herself to some people, but she knew it going in.

However, what infuriates me is reading all the very personal attacks being hurled at Audrey, mostly in article comments by people who don't even know her. It is one thing to criticize someone's beliefs, stance, methods, etc. when debating a particular topic such as light pollution. But there are many people resorting to outright personal attacks and ridiculing her based on her chosen line of work, her appearance, her mental stability; things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

And, unfortunately, there are also those in astronomy and dark sky advocacy who are debasing her and saying that she is doing more harm than good to the cause. I don't know that she is causing harm to the cause. She is simply putting words into action. I've been reading her posts and emails in relation to this exhibition, and in particular her dialogue with the artist himself. She is being very passionate and vocal about the subject, but I don't see that she has gone too far or caused any harm. She is definitely getting up in the artist's face and pushing him around a bit, but there are some people who don't respond to anything less than that, especially when they are as arrogant, egotistical, and self serving as this Rafael fellow appears to be.

Audrey is playing smash-mouth football with this guy after first trying a more civilized approach in the beginning. Yes, she has ratcheted up the rhetoric as the opening of the art project got closer, but Rafael has also intentionally pushed just the right buttons to get a further rise out of her. His initial dialogue with Audrey may have appeared reasonable to many outsiders, but he has been condescending and antagonistic in a calculating sort of manner.

Nothing that Audrey has done and said so far has been illegal, immoral or unethical. She has tried to bring reasoned argument to the artist's attention. And even when the debate has heated up and her tone seems shrill and high-pitched, her statements have always relied on the pointed facts behind the fight against light pollution.

I understand that many folks in our circles may not approve of Audrey's criticism of Derrick Pitts. Her words have been harsh. However, she may or may not have been privy to the underlying dilemma faced by Mr. Pitts. Tom, you said it took an hour and a half phone conversation with Mr. Pitts to understand the real rock-and-a-hard-place situation he is stuck in. If Audrey wasn't lucky enough to have the same conversation with Mr. Pitts that you did, she may not realize just how difficult this is for him. All she sees is a well-known and respected astronomer joining forces with the "dark side." If it were not for your personal connections and conversations with Mr. Pitts, what would be your opinion of someone of his stature agreeing to join forces with the artist and use these ungodly-bright searchlights to perform public outreach? To an outsider, this is the epitome of irony! I can almost assure you that had Audrey been privy to your conversations with Mr. Pitts and was fully aware of the awful predicament he has been forced into, she probably would not have been so critical of him. Your telling of his situation here on the CN forums is quite an eye-opener to me!

As for Audrey's seemingly over-the-top reactions to this exhibition, let's take an alternate look at the circumstances. Suppose she is fully aware of how extreme her opposition may appear to some people? Suppose that was part of her calculations in pushing the dark sky agenda? Suppose she was fully willing to put herself out there as the sacrificial lamb so that the rest of us can appear more reasonable and have a better chance at pushing through some of the smaller pieces of LP reduction?! Maybe it's a lot like the huge lawsuits you see come through the justice department every once in a while. The ones with punitive demands that seem so high and so unreasonable and such an inordinate number of defendants that you know there isn't a chance in heck it will ever succeed. It's what is called "casting a wide net" in the legal profession. You file a suit that names everyone and their brothers as defendants. You ask for damages so high that it is almost laughable. In the end, someone decides to settle the suit for a mere 5% of what you asked just to get you out of their hair and to keep themselves out of court. Sure, you didn't get everything you originally asked for, but what if that 5% was all you really wanted in the first place? It's a tactic many plaintiffs employ because it often works!

What if that is what Audrey is doing? Making herself out to look so unreasonable in her efforts that others can come in with a much smaller, more reasonable LP-reduction offer that is readily accepted by the masses?! It would only be a very small advancement in dark sky advocacy, but that is all we ever expect anyway, right?! Baby steps?!

Now, I'm not purporting to know Audrey's methodology. Nor am I suggesting that what I stated above is what she is really doing. However, what if we just use the opportunity to advance a smaller, more readily-acceptable tidbit of LP legislation or dark sky advocacy?

Just a thought.

Oh, and Tom? Thank you very much for your efforts and all the info you are providing on this on-going debate. It is much appreciated!


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: RobbW]
      #5433347 - 09/21/12 07:45 PM

Thanks for your response, Robb.
I agree sincerely with all thoughts about Audrey and the direction and destination she is headed toward. In fact, she has put the teeth in my comment where I said that this may prove to be the most important dark sky issue to have ever happened. Or something like that? My point goes equally to the similar assault aimed at Dr. Pitts, who seems to be handling the issue in a manner he sees workable from his standpoint.

In all, I love this debate as it will set new thresholds in future realization. Important, as science will prevail, as it usually does.

By the way, I'm worried that this event may go beyond Philadelphia. I have an idea that New York may be next? The art community there has not written back to me and I think that could mean there is some reading between the lines that needs to be examined. The Wyncote Audubon has not returned any emails, either. They are part of the Pennsylvania Audubon group who is doing the bird study. In all, there will be lots of stuff coming up, I'm sure. In some regard, giving the artist more press, good or bad, is good for him, as the folks who like this idea get on the band wagon and ride for free, too? All worth thinking about. Best, Tom


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5434403 - 09/22/12 12:52 PM

"In all, I love this debate as it will set new thresholds in future realization. Important, as science will prevail, as it usually does."

Oh, how I wish this were true, Tom.

Unfortunately, science does not always prevail:

Science has almost NEVER been effective in affecting the political process - at least not until things get so bad that the need to act becomes obvious. And, despite the best efforts of scientists and their advocates, lessons once learned are frequently forgotten as time goes on. You don't have to look very far to see the truth in this.

Consider that we're now well into the 21st century, have made HUGE strides in space exploration and have vastly expanded our knowledge of the Universe, have made great strides in conquering disease, etc, etc, etc.

And yet, in a great many parts of the country, we are still revisiting the Scopes Monkey Trial as the subject or creationism keeps rearing it head.

I wish I were as optomistic as you but 70 years of watching what's going on (just the facts ma'am) keep getting in the way.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5434723 - 09/22/12 04:23 PM

RobbW:

Quote:

I am truly surprised and equally disheartened by the treatment that Audrey Fischer is receiving in response to her opposition to this light-polluting "art" project. By her peers in astronomy and dark-sky advocacy, none the less.




Am I disenheartened? Yes, and have been for quite some time. Surprised? Absolutely not.

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Walt Kelly



Kfrank:

And yet, in a great many parts of the country, we are still revisiting the Scopes Monkey Trial as the subject of evolution keeps rearing it head.

There, fixed it for ya.


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5435910 - 09/23/12 11:19 AM

"Unfortunately, science does not always prevail"

That's the history of mankind; he is always slow to accept what is in front of his face. Remember Galileo was imprisoned for daring to even present the thought that the Earth wasn't the center of the universe....Now, we're being told that the sky is a dark and scary place, that we must light up the sky to make the dark go away...how foolish and stupid we are as a species.....as far as I know, we are the only species on the plant incapable of living in it's natural environment....


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5435967 - 09/23/12 11:54 AM

I'm talking about the science proving the effects of light pollution in the same way that we now know tobacco and asbestos have negative impact. Science in this topic. Not Galileo, not monkeys, and again. this forum is about Open Air. There are so many forums to talk general philosophy. Does anyone have any feedback on what went on in Philadelphia these last couple of nights? How many people turned out and was is as grand as advertised? Did Audrey post anything, anywhere? What did the weather do and how many people, if any, brought out telescopes to the sidewalk astronomy? That's what I want to talk about. Anybody have some news or pertinent, relevant info?
If this forum continues this way it will defeat it's own purpose.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5436045 - 09/23/12 12:46 PM

Here's the first live images I've seen. This is the photographer's fb published images he submitted to a fb site.
http://joekaczmarek.blogspot.com/2012/09/testing-open-air-interactive-lighting.html


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5437057 - 09/23/12 10:01 PM

You asked for it. Here it is. "...drew hundreds of people...." (Note: the 15 second TD Bank ad can not be skipped.)

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8811360

Edited by Fred1 (09/23/12 10:02 PM)


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5437131 - 09/23/12 10:45 PM

Quote:

You asked for it. Here it is. "...drew hundreds of people...." (Note: the 15 second TD Bank ad can not be skipped.)

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8811360




Actually, the correct quote from the article is:

"drew thousands of people"

for better or worse...


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5437625 - 09/24/12 08:33 AM

Well, two girls and a guy all trying to figure out their Smartphones anywho.....

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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5438660 - 09/24/12 07:37 PM

Dare we hope that the show may actually overstay its welcome? Perhaps Lozano-Hemmer isn't familiar with the old show business adage about getting off the stage before the applause ends.

Geoff


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Fred1
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5438966 - 09/24/12 11:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

You asked for it. Here it is. "...drew hundreds of people...." (Note: the 15 second TD Bank ad can not be skipped.)

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8811360




Actually, the correct quote from the article is:

"drew thousands of people"

for better or worse...




Respectfully, that's inaccurate reporting in the article. If you watch the video's first 30 seconds and listen to reporter Jennifer Joyce, she says,"...drew hundreds of people...." If there were "thousands" on the Parkway then it would've been mobbed with people. That wasn't the case. The Mummer's Parade on New Years draws thousands.


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Dark Sky Scott
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5440239 - 09/25/12 04:53 PM

and here is a time lapse of the project in action:
http://youtu.be/wLQDnsvd4nM


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Dark Sky Scott]
      #5440456 - 09/25/12 07:07 PM

I was totally underwhelmed......

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AudreyFischer
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5441608 - 09/26/12 12:51 PM

http://www2.fi.edu/visitor-guide/events/special-events.php

This is outrageous and it makes me angry! I was there at the opening with Protest Signs on my scope.This makes me angry... as it should any dark-sky activist.
The Franklin Institue and chief astronomer Dr Pitts SUPPORTS light-polluting lightshow "Open Air" with special programing.

Collaborative programing by a major institution and astronomers will be seen as an endorsement for light polluting light show called "Open Air" and will be referenced again and again to market this light show around the world.

Listed on the website of the Franklin Institute: "Join The Franklin Institute's Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts as he hosts a special evening of sky-gazing during "Open Air," the large-scale interactive public art experience that is transforming the night sky above Philadelphia's historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Pitts will direct the robotic searchlights currently performing the art experience to highlight salient stellar objects viewable from the Parkway."

Astronomer Derrick Pitts will use the "brightest searchlights ever made on the planet" to point out Vega among a pityful handful of stars above the Philly sky. Dark sky activists have 3 basic consistent messages: •Keep lights out of the night sky. •Do not use light high in the blue spectrum. •No light trespass. 'Open Air' and Astronomer Pitts will point powerful BLUE searchlights UP into the night sky that will TRESPASS for miles in all directions. The astronomer justifies this as a "teachable moment". I say it sets a very, very BAD example and teaches the WRONG message to the public and municipalities. I urge Dr Pitts to cancel his Oct 2 collaborative programming with 'Open Air' and urge local astronomy clubs to come out with their telescopes dressed with PROTEST signage wrapped around the scope or attached to the tripod. Right now, the astronomy clubs are listed as official programing in collaboration of 'Open Air'. This is deplorable. Astronomers have every right to have up to 75 telescopes set up all around the "Open Air" area WITH PROTEST signage without a permit. A $20 permit + insurance or waiver with 4-5 days notice will allow more than 75 telescopes set up.

(note: Mayor Nutter is also chief of the US Mayoral Conference and also represents the US in Int'l conferences. We must put every effort to convince Mayor Nutter to drastically reduce light pollution over Philly and recommend other mayors to do the same. Mayor Nutter campaigned on making Philly the #1 green city by 2015. I personally contacted his "green team" and talked to their director. She has no intention of putting light pollution reduction on a priority list for greening the city.

Edited by csa/montana (09/26/12 03:58 PM)


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Kfrank
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: AudreyFischer]
      #5441780 - 09/26/12 02:24 PM

Audrey,

It would seem that you have no other interest in Cloudy Nights other than to use it as a forum for your rant.

From all appearances, you registered (yesterday) only to provide another forum for you to state your case.

Personally, I don't have a problem with your premise - just with your antagonistic way of presenting it. And, I resent your taking advantage of this forum for your own ends, regardless of it's appropriateness here.


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barasits
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: AudreyFischer]
      #5441878 - 09/26/12 03:17 PM

Hi Audrey! Glad to see your comment here.

I'm an admirer of Dr. Pitts but I think he's making a mistake. Of course, we're not privy to the discussions he's had with the people involved in the project, so there's no way of knowing what guided his decision. If Dr. Pitts believes he can use Open Air to get more attention directed at the light pollution problem, I wish him well.

But my fear is just as you've described it, that rather than Dr. Pitts being able to use Open Air to teach about light pollution, it is much more likely that Open Air is using him as an implicit endorsement in the same way that the Open Air web site is using Audubon Pennsylvania in a disingenuous effort to convey concern for wildlife.

Lozano-Hemmer has put on light polluting shows like this before (e.g., Mexico City, Vancouver) which undermines the argument that the show is strictly a temporary contributor to the light pollution problem. Given the history, it would be better described as a recurrent contributor. But even if transient, the message Open Air sends is abominable. The "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is a gigantic mass of floating refuse consisting mostly of plastic debris. If an artist concocted a contemporary art project which consisted of dumping thousands of plastic bottles into the Pacific to create an impressive visual experience, the artist could argue that it is an insignificant addition to an already polluted ocean (the tragedy of the commons error). The artist might also claim to be an ocean pollution opponent, and that pollution opponents could better spend their time preventing large scale ocean dumping. But the message of this plastic bottle show would be the same as Open Air: disregard of the environment is acceptable.

I'm hoping that opposition and/or lack of interest will discourage repeat performances of Open Air in the future and any similar shows that glorify light pollution.

Keep up the great work!

Geoff


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5441969 - 09/26/12 04:16 PM

We are always glad to welcome new members here; and also welcome their opinions and suggestions as well, without pre-judging them.

The CN forums are for all; regardless of why they chose the site. We encourage new membership, and want the new members to feel welcome here.


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AudreyFischer
journeyman


Reged: 09/25/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5442200 - 09/26/12 06:50 PM

Yes, I posted here because, with all my heart I believe what happens with 'Open Air' will have a critical impact; it will either help or hurt the dark-sky movement on a global level. I urge every one of you not to sit on the sidelines, but to get involved. Write the letters to Dr Pitts, Mayor Nutter & media. Contact your local officials and urge them to ban search lights for all non-emergency purposes. Contact your local Environmental Medical Director of your city's health department. Tell them about the AMA declaration, and the other environmental issues of light pollution. You will be pleasantly surprised at the reception. I have only one goal: (a Starry night sky for this and future generations) and one motivation: (children of the world). I believe these are shared goals amongst many here at the Cloudy Nights forum. cheers+stars, Audrey

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: AudreyFischer]
      #5442380 - 09/26/12 08:43 PM

Welcome Audrey. Your activity regarding the Open Air issue has made you famous to me. Both on this forum, and elsewhere. Your dedication to the light pollution cause is well respected, too. Now, joining this forum may bring some new insights to you and this may prove to be of greater value than might be imagined. It has for me. Giving a minute to check out the stats, please consider the following.

If you look at the general categories listed as topics on CN, you will see that right now the viewer count goes like this. Eyepieces, 57 viewers, Mounts, 46 viewers, Refractors, 62 viewers, Beginners, 30 vewers, Light Pollution, 3 viewers. Three! And, this is an astronomy site!

When I look at the statistics, these stick out like a vivid and sobering slap that wakes me up and firmly sets me in my place. So.... what does that say for the world at large?

Reading the entire forum on light pollution is overwhelming, just the same. I have posted several times on this thread, asking posters to stay on point and bring content that means something so it isn't just a diluted bunch of words.

With that in mind, and looking for effective results, a war of battles requires much patience and steadiness. I believe, me personally. It also needs comraderie and cooperation. Nothing positive will get done, otherwise. Again, me talking. Albeit, avoiding a Boston Tea Party or complete breakdown of civility.

With that, I offer the following.

Adding to the list of those participating as "groups" joining in with
this project, follow this link to see the schedule of events that will
be "sending their message"..... what ever that means?

http://associationforpublicart.org/special-events/

Perhaps, some of the participants can be persuaded to drop out, as well?

Again, welcome and know you have found friends, here.
Respectfully, Tom


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5442479 - 09/26/12 09:40 PM

Welcome, Audrey... I think you've stated the case well. I also fail to detect any antagonism in your post, just passion.

Of course, in any event I'd much prefer a little "antagonism" directed towards gross light polluters, as opposed to the "rolloverandplaydead-ism" that seems to permeate this discussion, as well as the amateur astronomy community generally, as regards light pollution.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5442493 - 09/26/12 09:45 PM

Quote:

We are always glad to welcome new members here; and also welcome their opinions and suggestions as well, without pre-judging them.

The CN forums are for all; regardless of why they chose the site. We encourage new membership, and want the new members to feel welcome here.




Here, here!

I would go so far as to encourage the Dr. Pitts mentioned by Audrey to join this forum, even if only to present his side of the matter, and would not resent it in the least.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5442768 - 09/27/12 12:34 AM

Quote:


Of course, in any event I'd much prefer a little "antagonism" directed towards gross light polluters, as opposed to the "rolloverandplaydead-ism" that seems to permeate this discussion, as well as the amateur astronomy community generally, as regards light pollution.




Can you elaborate with some examples of these ism's? I'm curious and interested... Maybe something can be learned?
Tom


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5443393 - 09/27/12 12:07 PM

Go Audrey! I've given them my opinions already and they pretty much mirrored your comments. And I agree, we need to save the sky for future generations....

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AudreyFischer
journeyman


Reged: 09/25/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5443441 - 09/27/12 12:33 PM

Thank you for your comments of welcome. I appreciate that very much. : )
Re: Open Air.... One thing to clarify from the get-go. The artist clearly stated on the IDA fb page that he intends to exhibit "Open Air" around the world. Philly is the "world debut". The saddest issue about "Open Air" is the key element of public participation which literally teaches and rewards thousands of people to pollute the night skies instead of becoming environmental stewards. This will have lasting effects long after "Open Air" is moved to the next city to do the same damage. This is why it is critical to make a strong impact now, while it is still in Philly. I strongly disagree with the chief astronomer of Franklin Institute statement: "First, the issue of light control at night in the city is a ‘train that left the station’ back in the early 1900’s and there is no return trip. In other words, I have no expectation that the city will ever make any effort to change how the city is illuminated at night." Because the chief astronomer of Franklin Institute believes this, he is entirely the WRONG person to be leading a rally about the dark sky effort. His actions will set back the cause of light pollution reduction in the city. I believe 1000% that light pollution MUST be dramatically reduced in cities across the world for the health of people and the ecosystem. This is where the population lives;people deserve a healthy environment in which to live and work; we now have the lighting technology to give people effective lighting and starlight too; we have the facts -like the June 2012 AMA declaration- to back the case as to why it is important. It is now an URGENT issue because, cities are signing contracts to relight their municipalities with energy-effecient lighting without taking light pollution into consideration. Therefore, many are opting for high-blue spectrum lighting and designs that still throw light up into the night sky. In otherwords, there has NEVER been a time where all the crossroads met together to offer a potential for major starlight restoration over cities like there is now. We have the facts, appropriated infrastructure $, the lighting WILL be switched over. The problem is light pollution is NOT being factored into the equation while choosing best lighting practices. What is missing is the lack of awareness of the issue of light pollution. I am working every single day to contact my local officials, state & national officials, urge astronomers globally to become active.... now. This is when it counts. This one matters. We need every single person activated.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5443490 - 09/27/12 01:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Of course, in any event I'd much prefer a little "antagonism" directed towards gross light polluters, as opposed to the "rolloverandplaydead-ism" that seems to permeate this discussion, as well as the amateur astronomy community generally, as regards light pollution.




Can you elaborate with some examples of these ism's? I'm curious and interested... Maybe something can be learned?
Tom




I'd say that examples are self-evident... just look around.

Any non-rural amateurs should have been up in arms, figuratively speaking, regarding light pollution decades ago; I certainly was, and was looked at askance by my compatriots at the time as being "too vocal". People love to complain, but as far as taking concrete steps to mitigate the source of said complaint... no. That's too much like work for most folks, who would rather tolerate ever-brightening skies than raise the slightest ruckus and deviate from the herd. Had enough people raised their voices back then, we might be enjoying considerably darker skies overall at present... but like Audrey is experiencing to a degree now, myself and the few others who spoke out back then - sometimes forcefully - were marginalized by the amateur community itself. It's similar to the sociology of crabs caught in a crab pot... if one begins to find his way out, the others will actually prevent his escape by dragging him back into the pot.

The milquetoast attitude back then that sought (and apparently still seeks) to mitigate the light pollution problem solely through reasoned discussion with the offenders was, in my opinion, akin to a district attorney choosing to reason with an embezzler, and asking him ever so kindly to put back the money he stole, rather than prosecuting him for his crime... and make no mistake, light pollution is a crime, as it robs all people of their birthright to see Creation above their heads, and thus helping to establish their place in it.

Einstein has been quoted as saying that insanity consists of "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"... the "gentle persuasion" used over and over, and advocated by many, has not worked in the past, and will not work in the future in any but the most limited applications. Unless we as a group become much more vocal and forceful in our objections to light pollution, we can expect worsening conditions for as long as civilization holds together. Note that by "group" I include manufactures and dealers of astronomical equipment, who have consistently missed a great opportunity to form a lobbying group with some political clout (and I don't mean the IDA, which I consider to be well-intentioned but ultimately ineffective).

All that said, I believe that the window to make meaningful inroads against light pollution has almost completely closed. The time to have attacked excess and misdirected lighting full-throttle was thirty years ago... combined with other current societal issues that come to bear on the issue, not the least of which is the public's ill-informed impression that more light equals better security, the situation is so fully out-of-control now that there is almost no hope of curtailing it; the best that can likely be done at this stage is a rear-guard action to slow encroachment on moderately light-polluted areas.


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5443515 - 09/27/12 01:20 PM

Pretty soon we will have to put light bulbs in our reflector scopes to convert them into search lites for "artistic" purposes......

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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5443839 - 09/27/12 04:53 PM

I'd like to suggest that everyone read (or re-read if it's been a while) the Sticky "LP Forum Guidlines - Please Read".

It's the second thread listed.

This is certainly just my opinion but It seems to me that this thread has strayed perilously close (if not over) to going beyond these suggested limits.

This forum is not the place for activists to excercise their zeal. I realize that LP is indeed a sore point for many of us but I think this topic has already contravened the rules of CN and that further continuation of the thread is ill advised.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5443855 - 09/27/12 05:03 PM

I see nothing here that warrants any moderator intervention.

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Tonk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5443938 - 09/27/12 06:01 PM

Quote:

I see nothing here that warrants any moderator intervention.




Thank you for that confirmation - I certainly don't see any issues and can't understand the complaints raised.

Quote:

further continuation of the thread is ill advised




Can you explain what the issue is?? This thread is discussing a very important issue in a very civilised fashion. Keep it going, I'm learning from this.


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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tonk]
      #5444422 - 09/27/12 11:00 PM

Quote:

This thread is discussing a very important issue in a very civilised fashion. Keep it going, I'm learning from this.




I agree! And to add a tid bit more, the future is not finished, either.
I remember when cars did not have seat belts and the auto makers said no-one would wear them. When people smoked on airplanes and everywhere else, too. Dogs pooped wherever people let them and dumping in the desert was thought acceptable because no-one cared as it was a barren and empty waste land.

All, wrong, and all changing.

Education and enforcement will win if the pressure stays on. This artist is going to fail if the pressure continues. Now is the best time to stay the course, and as I said, this is one of the first of the highest profile light pollution cases to ever happen. A combination of radicalism, civility, science, economics, and plain old common sense, will do the job. We need a class action lawsuit, or two, to wake up a few sleeping idiots, and an alternative to some archaic ideas that shows the direction of modern intelligence in action.

Everyone needs to buckle up, put out the smokes, pick up after the dog, and get with the program! IMHO

Thanks to all activists for the dark sky cause!


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AudreyFischer
journeyman


Reged: 09/25/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5444489 - 09/28/12 12:00 AM

I totally agree with Tom. A class-action environmental lawsuit is a real possibility that can "fix" many lighting issues.... including streetlights. Especially streetlights that trespass into bedroom windows. I'm researching it... and in fact talked to someone at the demonstration site in Philly that just successfully won a class-action lawsuit for another purpose. We're no where near ready for that yet. In the meantime, be persistent and focused to goal: Starlight restoration for kids of all generations and a healthy environment in which to grow. Starlight is a marker of a healthy environment-- as much as a blue sky at day. Starlight is worthwhile to rally and unite for.

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AudreyFischer
journeyman


Reged: 09/25/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5444517 - 09/28/12 12:25 AM

Amicus, I have no doubt that we can help restore starlight over major cities and reveal the visible Milky Way within 1 hour's drive from the city.... here in the US and around the world. The window is NOW. Please help. Do not let atrophy and apathy grab you like the captured crab. If it is talk like this that offends some here on CN, i will leave if asked. But i will never stop working toward this goal of starlight preservation for future generations.

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dwright
sage


Reged: 12/12/09

Loc: Sonoran Desert
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5445394 - 09/28/12 03:19 PM

Quote:

I remember when cars did not have seat belts and the auto makers said no-one would wear them. When people smoked on airplanes and everywhere else, too. Dogs pooped wherever people let them and dumping in the desert was thought acceptable because no-one cared as it was a barren and empty waste land.

All, wrong, and all changing.




The thing is, many folks today would like to go back to the ways these things were before "do-gooders" came along and changed them.

It is timely to note that 50 years ago -- almost to the day -- Rachael Carson published Silent Spring, a book that changed the world. There are least two things about this that are relevant to the topic at hand. First, even a single determined individual can effect major change. Second, note that 50 years later, many folks today would like to go back to the ways things before Ms. Carson came along...


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: dwright]
      #5445438 - 09/28/12 03:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I remember when cars did not have seat belts and the auto makers said no-one would wear them. When people smoked on airplanes and everywhere else, too. Dogs pooped wherever people let them and dumping in the desert was thought acceptable because no-one cared as it was a barren and empty waste land.

All, wrong, and all changing.




The thing is, many folks today would like to go back to the ways these things were before "do-gooders" came along and changed them.

It is timely to note that 50 years ago -- almost to the day -- Rachael Carson published Silent Spring, a book that changed the world. There are least two things about this that are relevant to the topic at hand. First, even a single determined individual can effect major change. Second, note that 50 years later, many folks today would like to go back to the ways things before Ms. Carson came along...




Sure. There are also people who would like to restore monarchy or theocracy in the West. But they're a significant minority.

Deep changes take time, lots of time.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5445464 - 09/28/12 04:10 PM

Well said!

By the way, Tony, do you think S&T would consider starting a monthly column devoted to light pollution?

It seems to me that given S&T's readership of 131,000, it is well-positioned to report on light pollution issues on a monthly basis in a manner that would help counter misperceptions. Occasional articles on the subject are fine, but a monthly column might keep amateur astronomers focused on and interested in the problem. Just a thought.

Geoff


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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5445496 - 09/28/12 04:35 PM

Like most change, economics come to the forefront. Ask a CFO at GM or any other paying defendant like Ford with the Pinto fire cases. An Ox gored is always the lesson being taught?
A news story that speaks of skulduggery and love betrayed will always win the attention of the masses.
"Light Pollution Kills Millions!" there's a headline! And, not to mention it is probably true, if birds count. Insects and bats, for sure.
The nature of people will be what it is, until Darwin notes a change. Who cares if the world is watching as it will, as George Carlin said, "Shake us off like a dog shakes off fleas".
We are only trying to protect intelligence in this argument, I believe, and the hard earned position mankind has achieved to be considered, even if only by a few, to be intelligent. What else. That is why the best images of light pollution come from the space station. And, who built that??
As a side note, How's the "Open Air" event going? Any news?


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5445509 - 09/28/12 04:45 PM

Quote:

As a side note, How's the "Open Air" event going? Any news?




Here's a recent promotional piece about "Open Air." It mentions the protest:

http://blog.livearts-fringe.org/2012/09/28/gourmet-ice-cream-dark-skies-and-rafael-lozano-hemmerʼs-24-bat-signals-opening-night-for-open-air/

Geoff


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dwright
sage


Reged: 12/12/09

Loc: Sonoran Desert
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5445592 - 09/28/12 05:49 PM

Quote:

Deep changes take time, lots of time.



That was one of my points.

Progress on some LP fronts is possible, perhaps even inevitable, but the going will be slow. For one thing, many Americans today are hostile to anything that can be construed as "pro-environment" or "anti-development."

I'll take it as a sign of progress when national talk-radio demagogues are sneering at the dad-blamed star-huggers along with the tree-huggers.


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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: dwright]
      #5445987 - 09/28/12 10:48 PM

Thanks, Barasits,
I left a response. Here's a copy and paste....

Tom O'Key September 28, 2012
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Just a quick comment… The author mentioned, “My Thursday night started with a closeup view of the moon—craggy, cratered, with the arc of the earthʼs shadow slicing it out of the sky—from the lawn outside the Franklin Institute.”
I wish to point out that the Moon looks like a crescent because the Sun is off axis in a way that the Moon is lit from a direction that causes the crescent, Not by the shadow of the Earth. If the Earth’s shadow was involved, it would be part of an eclipse event and that only happens on rare alignments of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, FYI
Did “Open Air” mislead your understanding?
Thanks… IDA Tom


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5445988 - 09/28/12 10:49 PM

Ps....LOL!

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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5446025 - 09/28/12 11:20 PM

Quote:

Thanks, Barasits,
I left a response. Here's a copy and paste....

Tom O'Key September 28, 2012
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Just a quick comment… The author mentioned, “My Thursday night started with a closeup view of the moon—craggy, cratered, with the arc of the earthʼs shadow slicing it out of the sky—from the lawn outside the Franklin Institute.”
I wish to point out that the Moon looks like a crescent because the Sun is off axis in a way that the Moon is lit from a direction that causes the crescent, Not by the shadow of the Earth. If the Earth’s shadow was involved, it would be part of an eclipse event and that only happens on rare alignments of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, FYI
Did “Open Air” mislead your understanding?
Thanks… IDA Tom






Touché! I knew you'd like this piece. The opening couldn't have been better.

Geoff

Edit: I just added my comment. Just a hunch, but I'd be willing to bet the author didn't do any background reading before writing this piece.

Edited by barasits (09/29/12 12:51 AM)


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aezoss
member


Reged: 03/27/11

Loc: The Great White North
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: AudreyFischer]
      #5446103 - 09/29/12 12:41 AM

I'm curious to know what the reaction of the spectators has been so far and if the astronomers present to protest have been well received.

From a non-astronomer's point of view, is the show spectacular or banal?

It would be interesting to hear from someone who's had the opportunity to check it out and assess the crowd first hand.

Lee


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: aezoss]
      #5446116 - 09/29/12 12:58 AM

I agree. It would be great to have an objective account of the public reaction to the display. Even better if we could get a report every few days until the show ends. It's important to know if interest is sustained or dwindling over time.

Geoff


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5446603 - 09/29/12 11:02 AM

Dear Cloudy Nights,

I have read with interest this thread and thought I'd make some points:

o My installation is indeed light polluting, I have never pretended otherwise. I have worked very hard to turn off much more public lighting that we have brought into the area, and indeed from the report posted above you can see that we succeeded in turning off the entire parkway from 21st street to Eakins Oval...something that had not happened in the 75 years the parkway has been illuminated artificially. While the authorities have now turned those sodium lights back on because of safety reasons (which I don't agree with) we have their continued permission to turn off the entire oval which is a huge brightly illuminated area in front of the museum.

o Open Air takes place for a few weeks, three hours per night, in an urban area that already has a lot of existing light pollution. The piece is presented by two of the city's largest cultural festivals and according to the web and iphone analytics so far we have had 30,000 participants. While I respect those who think that celebrations like these are a waste of resources and do not justify the pollution they produce, I honestly believe that activism on the issue is best directed to permanent sources of light pollution such as Philly's huge corporate advertisements, urban screens, public lighting and sports and corporate events.

o As an artist with a chemistry degree and an interest in Astronomy (so far I have developed two projects with NASA) I believe in dark skies and pretty much agree with all the arguments made by the community. I understand people don't believe that I care about the issue, but I am trying repeatedly to reach out to the community, politely as I am doing now, and fortunately many astronomers such as Derrick Pitts have discussed how to best "use" the project for the dissemination of information. The "planetarium on the parkway" event we are doing with the Franklin Institute on Oct 2nd will use the searchlights to create an interactive dome that will allow Dr Pitts to point at features of the sky over Philly while reducing the parallax that often makes it hard for people to see exactly what stellar object he is referring to. Of course, we will turn off the searchlights once the object has been pin-pointed so that people can see it easily (people are encouraged to bring their telescopes). Here is the press release on this event, we hope some of you may want to attend, as Dr. Pitts is an incredibly eloquent speaker that has been doing great work to popularize the wonders of astronomy http://tiny.cc/hkjelw

All the best,
Rafael


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5446695 - 09/29/12 12:10 PM

Oops sorry the right URL for the Planetarium event is here http://tiny.cc/b7melw

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5446704 - 09/29/12 12:16 PM

Sorry, ain't buying it. If you are against light pollution, then you should have taken up "art" in another area.....maybe painting...

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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5446768 - 09/29/12 01:00 PM

Thanks for your comment, unfortunately I am a terrible painter. Look, nobody has to "buy" into anything. Light pollution is a concern as are other forms of pollution. Here is our statement on these:
http://openairphilly.net/environment

With this project I am trying to address several urban issues, and to that end we are working with different groups and communities, here is a list of the scheduled programming http://openairphilly.net/events

I understand that this type of work may not be to your liking, but I think there is merit in working together and have reasonable discussions to make the best of a situation. I believe that Tuesday night's event will bring hundreds of people from the general public to see their very first astronomy presentation and that that is a step in the right direction.

Best, Rafael


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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5447098 - 09/29/12 04:50 PM

Welcome to this forum, Rafael. Now, if Derrick chose to join in, the discussion group would be complete.

I wish to say that since there is limited restraint regarding personal opinions on these forums, there is fair reason to have thick skin, if you know what I mean. Perhaps the moderator will chime in with a welcome, since you are central to this discussion.

You must realize that the lights in downtown Philly, and all lights, in all downtown areas, are subject to the pressure coming from the dark sky movement. It is not, only, your project. The concept is "ALL UN-NECESSARY LIGHT" is a target of concern for dark sky advocates. We are working to turn off all those un-needed lights.

If you ask Derrick, he may tell you that I had suggested to him that all of the un-necessary lights in Philadelphia and the region be turned off for one night and see if a view of the Milky Way was made possible. I pointed out that it once was. Benjamin Franklin would have seen it every night, in 1785. Dr. Pitts said he would try to do this. I guess the lights you describe are part of that idea.

What do you think about taking the idea to the maximum level and urge the concept of near total darkness to occur and see if your influence, as a celebrity, can achieve such a result? Then, photographing the Milky Way with Independence Hall in the foreground? A first in history. An achievement that will live in the annals of history? An incredible exchange of understanding and communication beyond perception? And, as simple as flipping a few switches...

I can talk to my friend, the astronomy imager, Wally Pacholka, and his friends at TWAN, and perhaps an incredible message can be connected to the effort with incredible results to follow? What do you think? You, as an artist may have caused what you say your art was supposed to do?
Respectfully,
Tom


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5447142 - 09/29/12 05:27 PM

Quote:

Perhaps the moderator will chime in with a welcome,




Actually, I Welcome all of our new members that appear in any forums I moderate. I've been away from the computer, so am delayed in my welcome.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5447152 - 09/29/12 05:29 PM

Raphael; Indeed I would like to take this opportunity to Welcome you to Cloudy Nights! Since this discussion centers on your display; it will be good to hear your thoughts & future plans concerning the LP problem, and how your display figures into this.

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TOM O
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5447160 - 09/29/12 05:33 PM

Rafael,
Ps.. The New Moon of October will fall on the 15th. The waning crescent will be very late on the 14th and the night sky will be the darkest since your event began. Perhaps the ideal "Grand Finale" and thoughtful idea to ask the darkness to return, would be to recognize this concept and drive the Milky Way to full awareness and into high gear? Perhaps Dr. Pitts and the citizens of Philadelphia will see some merit in the possibility?


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5447233 - 09/29/12 06:23 PM

Thanks Tom for the ideas and Carol for the warm welcome. Just so that you know, we have been lobbying and convincing the traffic and parks divisions of the city to let us turn off all sodium lighting in the Parkway for the entire duration of the Open Air event, but except for Opening Night they have turned us down on the grounds that this would be unsafe for traffic and pedestrians. On opening night we had over 3,000 people in the dark Parkway and of course my opinion is that that makes for a safer not a more dangerous City. Anyhow, at least we have convinced them to turn off Eakins Oval for the Planetarium night but I think it is a wonderful idea to pressure them again to do the whole parkway for the closing of the show, coinciding with the New Moon! I will do my very best! Any pointers or supporters, like TWAN, for this idea helps a lot as I am most certainly *not* a celebrity and my opinion so far has not had enough weight to get the desired darkness.

Respectfully,
Rafael


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5447239 - 09/29/12 06:28 PM

Welcome, Rafael. I commend you for coming to CN, but your post contains the same rationalizations offered at the Open Air web site. There is no indication that the criticisms of Open Air have caused you to rethink any aspect of the project.

I can only speak for myself and as I see it the sky is not anyone's personal canvas. Rather, it is shared space, shared not only among people but with wildlife as well. Those who prefer to see the night sky without searchlights have as much right to the sky as those who want to see your light show. Simply put, Open Air deprives the former of their rights.

The scale of Open Air is objectionable--the show runs too long and is outdoors. It might have been excused for its trespass on the rights of those who wish to see the sky without searchlights and for its endangerment of wildlife had it run only a few nights. Obviously, there would have been no objection had your light show been conducted in an enclosed venue. You may counter that the scale (outdoors and for 25 days) is essential to your purpose. But what essential public or private need does Open Air satisfy that rules out an enclosed space? If you argue that the massive scale is absolutely necessary, then you must forgive critics if they see this as more an expression of self-aggrandizement than art.

You argue that those who oppose light pollution should focus their attention on permanent sources. You must know that light pollution opponents are not ignoring permanent sources, therefore what you are really suggesting is that your project be exempted from criticism owing to its relatively small contribution to light pollution. And here we reach what may be the crux of the matter: it is not only the amount of light that matters, but what it symbolizes. I certainly expect artists to appreciate the symbolic content of art. Above and beyond the amount of light that Open Air puts into the sky, the project has been repeatedly taken to task for its message: distain for the natural environment and disregard for the rights of those who do not wish the sky to be used in this way without good reason. You may say that this is not the meaning you intended, but for those who consider the night sky as something sacred, a thing of incredible natural beauty, a resource to be shared by all, the meaning of Open Air is egregious. Making matters worse, the permanent sources of light pollution you cite are inadvertent polluters, i.e., their primary purpose is not to spill light into the night sky. Open Air, by contrast, is deliberately polluting the night sky for no greater purpose than what appears to be gratuitous entertainment.

Light pollution is a serious matter and whether you intended it or not, Open Air serves to trivialize the issue. I'm a firm believer in redemption and I continue to hope that you will come to understand the objections to Open Air and will act to make amends to the extent you are able.

Best regards,

Geoff


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MawkHawk
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5447352 - 09/29/12 07:48 PM

You can't be part of the solution if you are part of the problem. Simple as that. Rafael, you are trying to sound like you are ant-light pollution while you're creating light pollution. You are trying to sound pro-wildlife while you go about putting migrating birds at risk.

Edited by MawkHawk (09/29/12 07:59 PM)


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5447631 - 09/29/12 10:23 PM

Thanks Geoff and MawkHawk for your comments. I am delighted to have this exchange.

Geoff, you write: "But what essential public or private need does Open Air satisfy that rules out an enclosed space?" Allow me to attempt an answer: the Parkway in Philly was designed specifically to be a public promenade. As you may know this is hardly the case, -it is now a 12 lane avenue with almost no pedestrian traffic at night. Surrounded by some of the most important museums in America, it is a pity that this area does not offer an opportunity for a vibrant community takeover with entitlement over their city. Open Air humbly attempts to reactivate that area for undertakings other than shopping. It brings people into the parkway to celebrate two popular festivals, to get people walking and looking at the sky, and to allow their voices to be "heard". With more than 30,000 participants so far I am delighted to report that this is happening. The free speech queue now has everything from marriage proposals, to poetry, song, manifestos, rants, and thousands of voice clips submitted during this first week. As someone who comes from Mexico City, one of the biggest and most troubled cities in the world, I know that big cities like Philly have their share of social, economic, racial and political issues that often alienate and defeat our citizens. While of course I don't think Open Air will solve any of these issues I am encouraged to see that in fact the project is already being taken over by an incredibly diverse demographic, many of whom often are not "visible". I am referring to the homeless night we are organizing for the 3rd of October, tonight's hispanic heritage night, the storytelling seniors, the Bicycle coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the women empowerment and advocacy night, and a long etcetera. Through Open Air I am hoping that the great american tradition of free speech can be visualized and can be amplified to an urban scale.

I do not think I am exempt from criticism for my light pollution. I have accepted this and I think criticism is very welcome precisely in the spirit of free speech that I want to elicit in the project. I am aware that I pollute, for example when I take an airplane somewhere, but it does not stop me from buying carbon offsets to at least be consistent with my beliefs. All of our activities are somehow polluting: you and I having this discussion right now, --on a server backbone likely powered by burning coal--, is polluting. In the end there are always choices made with pros and cons and I understand fully well that for few in this forum the choice of staging this project is worth it. I respect that. What surprises me is the degree of dramatization and name-calling that has surrounded this disagreement... particularly as time and time again I have offered that I may indeed be detrimental to the cause but perhaps not the most useful, or important target. As I look at the enormous lit advertising in PECO tower, the wasteful facade lighting of Cira center, the absurd and unnecessary spillage coming from parking lots and hundreds of other examples of "inadvertent pollution" I do wonder why my project is the one that receives this degree of animosity. And you are right, it is likely because of art's "symbolic power": at least with this project we all get to have these discussions and make them public. It is in this way that I think Dr Pitts sees Open Air "not as an opportunity to fight, but an opportunity to teach". I am happy that Open Air may "air" these discussions and make them public, because I do think we need to take Dark Skies into the mainstream. Pros and cons: we are about to stage one of the largest free astronomy events in history, with a speaker that will captivate the general public with the majesty of a starry night and explain to them the importance of Dark Skies...is that worth it? Personally I think so.

On the subject of wildlife. I am sorry but contrary to what many postings in this thread suggest, the project is not producing a massacre of migrating birds. I have been working very closely with ornithologists and Audubon Pennsylvania to ensure that not a single bird "dies of exhaustion as they are trapped in the lights". We have a large number of plans in place to prevent this from happening and I would be happy to detail them for the forum if you all have the patience to go through that material (or I can send it privately, if you wish). Sorry MawkHawk, I don't pretend to be "pro-wildlife" but at the same time I cannot tolerate that a single animal is hurt by my project.

Hope these notes help explain my position. Thanks for your attention.

All the best,
Rafael


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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5448171 - 09/30/12 10:20 AM

Excuse me, but is the following not a pro-wildlife statement? "The project is being considered by scientists as a testbed to record hard data on the effect of this kind of lighting on the birds. In particular a doppler radar is being negotiated to see flock patterns and different colour filters will be applied to observe any changes in flight behaviour."
So you are attempting, in part, to justify the risk to wildlife by claiming that it is part of a study? This is like driving 50 mph thru a residential neighborhood to study the effects of high speed residential driving on children playing in the area. When you could easily avoid adding to the danger by driving the speed limit. You want to be part of the problem and justify it by claiming that you're part of the solution.


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lozanohemmer
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5448271 - 09/30/12 11:24 AM

MawkHawk: Sorry for the confusion, you are right. When I say the project is a testbed for scientific study I did not mean whether we have an impact or not. I will change the text on the web. Meanwhile, here is a breakdown for you:

1. What I am doing has risks, but I don't want to kill a single bird (does that make me pro-wildlife?).
2. With professional help, studies and investment we have taken every effort to mitigate the effects of my project on migrating birds.
3. We have a full-time monitoring plan in place, a mixture of personnel (ornithologists, technicians, volunteers) and technology (doppler radar, binoculars, sound recorders).
4. Now, In addition to the above, Dr. J. Alan Clark, professor at the Dept of Biological Sciences of Fordham University, has conducted an actual scientific study SEPARATE from Open Air but using the project's lights. We have tested the effect of different light color filters on the migratory pattern of birds. His results should be published when he analyses all the data collected.

Best,
Rafael


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csrlice12
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5448414 - 09/30/12 12:53 PM

I'm still for someone in Philly to test their basement built EMP Pulse gun on those spotlights...Sorry Loranzo, still ain't buying your BS. AND that's what it is, BS....Just my opinion of your "art"...and that doesn't make it a wrong opinion just because I disagree with you....

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TOM O
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5448464 - 09/30/12 01:31 PM

I wish more CNer,s would join in with this discussion. Since the core of the dialog is so relevant and important.

One thing I know for sure is that Rafael's project has generated a decent amount of output of time spent talking about light pollution. If any positive aspect is true, it is this part of it all.

What would be able to do more than what has come foreward, otherwise?

Like I said before, the headlines must read "LIGHT POLLUTION FOUND GUILTY - MILLIONS DEAD!!"

Then, the world wakes up?


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barasits
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Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5448485 - 09/30/12 01:40 PM

Rafael, you described the purpose of Open Air as follows:

"Open Air humbly attempts to reactivate [the Parkway] for undertakings other than shopping. It brings people into the parkway to celebrate two popular festivals, to get people walking and looking at the sky, and to allow their voices to be 'heard'."

The purposes you specify, social gathering and free speech, do not require shining 24 searchlights into the night sky for 3 hours per night over 25 days. There are many ways of attracting people to outdoor festivals that do not involve deliberate light pollution. As far as free speech is concerned, the light show is superfluous because the sounds or verbal expressions cannot be deduced by viewing the lights. Attempting to link Open Air to some noble social purpose sounds like a defensive maneuver to define the project as something other than gratuitous entertainment. It doesn't work as I think you know since you admitted that Open Air is not a remedy for social ills. Consequently, Open Air is still stuck in the gratuitous entertainment category however much you try to attach it to lofty goals.

You then return to the argument that other light pollution sources are worse than yours, and you assume that the other polluters are going unchallenged:

"As I look at the enormous lit advertising in PECO tower, the wasteful facade lighting of Cira center, the absurd and unnecessary spillage coming from parking lots and hundreds of other examples of "inadvertent pollution" I do wonder why my project is the one that receives this degree of animosity."

I believe the negative reactions to your project are a consequence of the fact that it is a deliberate act of light pollution with no other purpose than entertainment, runs for an extensive period of time, and violates the rights of those who wish to see the sky sans searchlights. It would probably be possible to predict the reaction of light pollution opponents by ranking polluters in terms of intention, purpose, and scale. High intention, low purpose, medium scale projects like Open Air can expect strong opposition. Low intention, high purpose, high scale installations such as streetlights will certainly elicit opposition, but the low intention and high purpose (public safety) would tend to mute emotional reaction.

Regarding wildlife, MawkHawk's analogy of speeding in a residential neighborhood is superb--checkmate!

Best regards,

Geoff


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lozanohemmer
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5448524 - 09/30/12 01:55 PM

Csrlice12, your opinion that my art is BS is fine. What worries me is that your call for "pulse guns" is right in line with so many previous instances of slander, defaming, calls for "showdowns", personal insults and other unfortunate reactions to the project.

What has been published on the web is nothing compared to the vitriol that has been sent to people over email. Reactions like yours make people believe that the cause for Dark Skies must be radical, irrational and belligerent. I have met enough Dark Skies activists to know this is NOT the case, --but these reasonable people, are mostly quiet.

Being reasonable, engaging in dialog, collaborating, sharing thoughts, making priorities, inspiring people, educating them, distributing information: this is the way into the mainstream of decision making. Name calling, slander, defaming, calling for showdowns and fights: this is one way to ensure the issue stays at the margins.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5448627 - 09/30/12 02:42 PM

Rafael, being new to CN you lack context for interpreting csrlice's comment. If you had read enough of Randy's posts, you would know that the EM pulse gun remark was intended as humor. Most of the CN forums are given to lighthearted banter even when the thread is serious.

I have no way of knowing what kind of messages Open Air supporters have received, but opponents have been on the receiving end of venom as well. Of the sample of blog comments I've read, opponents of Open Air have, for the most part, been passionate but remarkably civil.

Geoff


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5448632 - 09/30/12 02:45 PM

Quote:

I'm still for someone in Philly to test their basement built EMP Pulse gun on those spotlights...Sorry Loranzo, still ain't buying your BS. AND that's what it is, BS....Just my opinion of your "art"...and that doesn't make it a wrong opinion just because I disagree with you....




No, and it doesn't make his opinion wrong either - just because you disagree with it!

Do a bit of exploring with regard to the definitions of "art" and you'll find that the only real definition of art is that which is created when the creator intends to create art. Sounds esoteric, I know. And, the average person to whom art is a "sofa size painting" or a piece of easily recognizeable sculpture has a good deal of trouble with this concept of art.

Art is about exploring the bounds of human creativity and imagination. It is NOT defined by the observer as is the commonly (and erroneous ) accepted definition, but rather by its creator.

One does not have to agree with a particular art form or type of expression, but it should not be denigrated as "BS" simpy because you don't like or understand it. Just as an excercise (if you are really interested in expanding your knowledge and horizons) do a bit of digging into the philosophical aspects of art, its creation and appreciation. If you can put your prejudices aside, you might be surprised.

Please don't launch into a tirade about how I am condoning light pollution - I am not! Nor am I necessarily condoning this particular medium of expression. I'm just trying to inject a bit of perspective where it is clearly lacking and might be beneficial.


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csa/montana
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5448639 - 09/30/12 02:49 PM

A reminder to keep this thread respectful of all members; whether you agree or disagree, do it in a civil respectful manner please.

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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5448697 - 09/30/12 03:38 PM

Dear Geoff, some notes to your notes:

""The purposes you specify, social gathering and free speech, do not require shining 24 searchlights into the night sky for 3 hours per night over 25 days. There are many ways of attracting people to outdoor festivals that do not involve deliberate light pollution.""

--Without a doubt! I am not presenting this as the only way about it.

""As far as free speech is concerned, the light show is superfluous because the sounds or verbal expressions cannot be deduced by viewing the lights.""

--That is incorrect Geoff. The verbal expressions can be heard in perfect sync with the lights through speakers set-up at Eakins Oval and Logan Square, through the free Open Air Philly phone app, and through the web in the "listen" section. So far our archive has been listened to by over 30,000 independent IP addresses and counting. I am quite satisfied with the degree of listenership so far.

""Attempting to link Open Air to some noble social purpose sounds like a defensive maneuver to define the project as something other than gratuitous entertainment. It doesn't work as I think you know since you admitted that Open Air is not a remedy for social ills. Consequently, Open Air is still stuck in the gratuitous entertainment category however much you try to attach it to lofty goals.""

--We started with the lofty goals and built a project around them, so I don't see how interest in social purpose could be a defensive maneuver! Anyhow, of course Open Air is not a remedy to these ills, but it is encouraging to see the different communities participate on a daily basis and feel empowered. I wish you were in Philly and could come down to Eakins Oval to see it for yourself.

""I believe the negative reactions to your project are a consequence of the fact that it is a deliberate act of light pollution with no other purpose than entertainment, runs for an extensive period of time, and violates the rights of those who wish to see the sky sans searchlights.""

--Well as I argue above, participation is not just entertainment but that's just my opinion. What is problematic is your claim that I am violating the rights of those who wish to see the sky sans searchlights. Have you ever been to Philly? The sodium lighting in the Parkway makes it completely impossible to see anything in the sky! Geoff, we are turning those lights off and as a result we are seeing people looking at the sky again.

""I have no way of knowing what kind of messages Open Air supporters have received, but opponents have been on the receiving end of venom as well. Of the sample of blog comments I've read, opponents of Open Air have, for the most part, been passionate but remarkably civil.""

--I would be surprised if you can show me a single posting or letter that is disparaging to dark sky activists. I am certainly trying to be civil and open to discuss the issues. On the other hand, if you have the stomach for it (or the time!), I can collect the material we have received for you to see it in all its detail: often it is funny stuff like Randy's hilarious calls for Pulse Guns to end my BS art, but sometimes it goes into pretty detailed threats, name-calling and personal attacks. Not so funny!

Thanks Geoff for your civil exchange. Like I said before, I've met enough dark sky activists to know that the ones that insult and threaten are in the minority.

All the best,
Rafael


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5448730 - 09/30/12 04:07 PM

Rafael, I think dark sky activists may be the least of your problems:

'Open Air' spotlights boring banality

Best regards,

Geoff


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5448769 - 09/30/12 04:32 PM

That is not a problem at all Geoff (nor are Dark Sky activists for that matter). Sozanski's opinions are very respectable even if I don't agree with them. The list of art he has not liked in the past is quite formidable and am at peace with being in the company of artists he has dismissed.

PS I do appreciate the irony of him not liking my lights for not being powerful enough: "The beams aren't sufficiently powerful (I suppose given the location they couldn't be), and they're attenuated by the ambient light from nearby Center City high-rises and even from the "light box" atop the adjacent Barnes Foundation."

Best,
Rafael


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5448787 - 09/30/12 04:41 PM

Quote:

Rafael, I think dark sky activists may be the least of your problems:

'Open Air' spotlights boring banality

Best regards,

Geoff




Geoff,

What would you have said had this critic LIKED the display?

I ask this simply because you have offered this one man's opinion as a vindication of your beliefs regarding this exhibit. Had he liked it, would you have bothered to reference it? My guess is no, you would not.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5448817 - 09/30/12 05:02 PM

Ken, you guessed wrong.

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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5448946 - 09/30/12 06:31 PM

It appears this thread has now reached the top ten list for views on this forum..... at least as far as the first ten pages would indicate! So, how significant is "Open Air?"

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MawkHawk
sage
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5448949 - 09/30/12 06:32 PM

Quote:

Rafael, I think dark sky activists may be the least of your problems:

'Open Air' spotlights boring banality

Best regards,

Geoff




Classic. "Banal and boring"

Oh, and btw, the artist stated above that about 3,000 people attended the opening, but I've read media reports that it was more like 300...soooo....


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MawkHawk
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5448957 - 09/30/12 06:35 PM

"PS I do appreciate the irony of him not liking my lights for not being powerful enough: "The beams aren't sufficiently powerful (I suppose given the location they couldn't be), and they're attenuated by the ambient light from nearby Center City high-rises and even from the "light box" atop the adjacent Barnes Foundation." "

What a city. Light pollution drowning out light pollution...


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5449014 - 09/30/12 07:16 PM

Quote:

"PS I do appreciate the irony of him not liking my lights for not being powerful enough: "The beams aren't sufficiently powerful (I suppose given the location they couldn't be), and they're attenuated by the ambient light from nearby Center City high-rises and even from the "light box" atop the adjacent Barnes Foundation." "

What a city. Light pollution drowning out light pollution...




Made possible with a $250,000 donation. I sometimes shudder at what money can buy.


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5449099 - 09/30/12 08:12 PM

For an idea of input and activity/ as of this post 4246 views, 185 posts,

first post 08/27/12/04:45PM, last post 09/30/12 07:16PM

List of posters... in order of appearance.

1- Dark Sky Scott
2- TOM O
3- Fred1
4- Barasits
5- csrlice12
6- csa/montana
7- RonUwood
8- RobbW
9- GeneT
10- Tonk
11- MawkHawk
12- Darkchairman
13- ForgottenMobject
14- amicus sidera
15- Kfrank
16- BigC
17- Tony Flanders
18- Tori
19- aezoss
20- Audrey Fischer
21- dwright
22- lozanohemmer


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5449332 - 09/30/12 10:33 PM

Rafael,
I would like ask if, perhaps, it might be possible if some of Franklin Institute Geeks could assemble some webcams and webcast the astronomy event Dr. Pitts is presenting with you. I, for one, would really like to see the event and get a better picture of what turns out. I'd think it is an easy job to do, and many could join in on seeing, for themselves, what happens. It could be that some of the astronomy enthusiasts in the Philadelphia area can express ideas and opinions as well as others to bring the insight that seems to be unclear to most of us. If there is any issue as to how to achieve this, our group can offer suggestions as we are astronomers who use video technology as a primary method in our outreach presentations. I'm sure Dr. Pitts has resources that can do this, too.

What do you think?

Thanks, Tom


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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5449522 - 10/01/12 01:29 AM

Well here's an update on the astronomy outreach event in the news; this week the searchlights will be used by Franklin Institute to "point out stellar objects above Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway".

One more quote:

"a special interface that will turn the control over to Pitts. This interface will use an iPad to move the lights and accurately pinpoint locations in the sky without the “parallax” line-of-sight problems that are typical of outdoor astronomy events. Planetarium on the Parkway is a free event, and amateur astronomers are welcome to bring their telescopes.

Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Astronomical Society, one of the nation’s oldest astronomy clubs, will also have two large telescopes on hand for viewers to gaze through."

Maybe there is a method to the madness ... "now ladies and gentlemen, we'll swing the lights over here to Andromeda Galaxy, the furthest object we can see with out own eyes" I do wonder though (seriously) - would something like the Pleiades be visible when pointed out by the lights? - assuming little airborne particulates, etc.


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia *DELETED* *DELETED* new [Re: core]
      #5449567 - 10/01/12 02:38 AM

Post deleted by TOM O

Edited by TOM O (10/01/12 02:44 AM)


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia *DELETED* new [Re: TOM O]
      #5449576 - 10/01/12 02:59 AM

Post deleted by TOM O

Edited by TOM O (10/01/12 03:04 AM)


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5450087 - 10/01/12 12:38 PM

Hi Tom and Peter, thanks for your posts. A couple of notes:

1. We just decided to move the "Planetarium on the Parkway" to Friday Oct 12 because of "cloudy nights" expected this Tuesday and Wednesday. This should give us more time to make plans but also we will be closer to the new moon. I will check on video streaming possibilities.

2. Peter, the idea is to use the searchlights to point at one location and once everyone can see what that location is we will turn the lights off. So yes, provided it is a clear night people should be able to see properly.

3. In case you are curious, we will not really use the searchlights as a laser pointer. Instead, we will criss cross them to form a single apex intersection about a mile high. Derrick Pitts will then move this "target" over the sky. Since the base of the pyramid is so large and all the public will be inside and close to Derrick, the parallax will be severely reduced. I estimate that we can get almost 1,000 looking at the exact same point.

I'm really looking forward to this!

Best,
Rafael


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5450152 - 10/01/12 01:25 PM

Quote:

It appears this thread has now reached the top ten list for views on this forum..... at least as far as the first ten pages would indicate! So, how significant is "Open Air?"




An excellent question - and one it might be worth pondering.

How this show is perceived will likely be dependent upon those doing the perceiving.

Astronomy/dark sky advocates will likely reject and condemn this show out of hand (as has indeed happened here). This is entirely understandable. For this group, dark skies are important for the pursuit of their avocation - and anything that contributes to less than dark skies, will be poorly received. So for this group, it is indeed significant as it may encourage future things of this nature and seems to put light pollution in a good light.

On the other hand, there's the art community. Much of the "art community" consists of poseurs and those trying to attach themselves to something for the status they seek. Trust me on this. I have been married to a very driven artist for 30 years and have run across a great many such people. There are indeed the knowledgeable and I have no clue how this show would be perceived by them. Art critics will, of course, discuss it using such meaningless terms as "relevant", "evocative" and yes, "banal", designed to cover up the fact that all they are really saying is that they either liked or disliked it. The above mentioned hangers on will then parrot the views of their favorite critic. For the art community, it's significance will largely depend upon how truly knowledgeable about art one is and about its potential influence on future art projects.

Then there's the general public, for whom, bye and large, this exhibit will hold absolutely no interest whatever. For the vast majority of this group this project will be entirely insignificant - particularly since, even if it shows in other cities, only a tiny fraction of the populace will ever see it or even hear about it.

As to my opinion, I wish that we could progress faster in dealing with light pollution and I don't think this kind of thing helps much. As to judging the show on its merits - I suspect that it cannot be fairly done without seeing it in person and therefore unless one has actually seen it judgement (IMO) should be withheld. It's like trying to judge a fireworks show by watching it on line.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5450337 - 10/01/12 03:13 PM

Rafael,

You've stated that Open Air is not the only way to achieve the purposes of social gathering and free speech. This admission doesn't help your case in the light pollution forum. We must then conclude that the 24 searchlight method was selected over alternative designs that didn't involve deliberate light pollution. It was a matter of your choosing.

Previously, I argued that, "As far as free speech is concerned, the light show is superfluous because the sounds or verbal expressions cannot be deduced by viewing the lights." You judged this statement to be incorrect because the sounds/expressions can be heard via speakers, phone app, and on the web. It is precisely because the sounds/expressions can be heard that I described the light show as unnecessary.

I don't doubt that you began with a laudable social purpose in mind, but I'm not so naïve as to believe that concern for social issues was the primary driving force behind Open Air (and, no, I don't expect everyone to be Mother Teresa). Moreover, gathering people together doesn't mean that they will interact with one another unless your design makes it difficult to avoid interaction. A light show has no more power to accomplish this than a movie screening. Consequently, Open Air and the concomitant promotional efforts may cause people to congregate physically but not socially.

If the light show is superfluous vis-à-vis free speech, and if the light show cannot be said to foster interaction across social boundaries, then Open Air remains in the gratuitous entertainment (low purpose) category.

You said that you don't believe that Open Air is violating the rights of those who do not wish to see the sky filled with searchlight beams. I don't know of an instance in which a person or an institution that was depriving people of their rights admitted that they were doing so. Suppose in a deforested public area there remained a single small stand of trees and that a segment of the populace enjoyed looking at them. As part of an art project, you propose to fell some or all of the remaining trees and argue that the rights of those who liked looking at the trees were not violated because there were so few left anyway that it could hardly make a difference. It may not make a difference to you but you can't assume that it makes no difference to others. In the case of Open Air you are further arguing that it is "...completely impossible to see anything in the sky!" If this were so, then how do you explain what Dr. Pitts is proposing to do. After locating the celestial object in the sky using the searchlights, the searchlights would be turned off and people would see the object. How could that be if, as you said, it is completely impossible to see anything in the sky?

Finally, you wrote, "I would be surprised if you can show me a single posting or letter that is disparaging to dark sky activists." Prepare to be surprised. But I will leave that to others if they care to provide examples.

Geoff


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5450749 - 10/01/12 08:00 PM

I am going to sign off dear Geoff, I don't have so much time on my hands to keep this discussion going and I assume neither do you. My only note is about this small fact you keep forgetting: we are turning off an enormous amount of public lighting. This is how come during the Derrick Pitts event people will actually be able to see the sky. When I say people in Philly can hardly see the sky it is with their normal public lighting ON, i.e. before and after Open Air is being performed. Thanks for your insights anyway.

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core
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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5450977 - 10/01/12 10:12 PM

Quote:


2. Peter, the idea is to use the searchlights to point at one location and once everyone can see what that location is we will turn the lights off. So yes, provided it is a clear night people should be able to see properly.





Rafael, thanks much for the details of the plan - that's about what I thot (ie, point it out, then turn off the lights) - although I had my doubts because depending on the type of search light used, (from my limited knowledge) I've had the impression that something like Xenon arc lamps can't be instantly cycles on/off.

On the other hand, if it works out, perhaps it will fire up the thot process of some of the attendees that "hey, I can't see it (the object in question) with the searchlights on, but turn it off and it's there!"


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lozanohemmer
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Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: core]
      #5451116 - 10/01/12 11:33 PM

Thanks for your comment Peter. Indeed our searchlights have xenon arc lamps and so instead of turning them off we use mechanical dousers (they look like venetian blinds controlled by a servo). Derrick can open or close the dousers with a push of a button on an iPad interface we made for him. Can't wait to see it in action!

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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5451127 - 10/01/12 11:37 PM

Quote:

I am going to sign off dear Geoff, I don't have so much time on my hands to keep this discussion going and I assume neither do you. My only note is about this small fact you keep forgetting: we are turning off an enormous amount of public lighting. This is how come during the Derrick Pitts event people will actually be able to see the sky. When I say people in Philly can hardly see the sky it is with their normal public lighting ON, i.e. before and after Open Air is being performed. Thanks for your insights anyway.




I'm sorry, I was operating under the mistaken impression that the city only allowed parkway lighting to be turned down for the opening night.

We'll just have to agree to disagree about Open Air, but I hope you'll be able to respond to other participants in this forum.

By the way, not that it's any consolation, but I have a high opinion of some of your other interactive works: Bifurcation and Voice Array, for example, are outstanding.

Best regards,

Geoff


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5451594 - 10/02/12 09:58 AM

Thanks Geoff, glad you like those works!

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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5451697 - 10/02/12 11:00 AM

Rafael,
So, what about the webcast idea?
Since this forum has most of those members who have posted comments on other publications, CN would be a good place to let people know if it could happen.
I would like to come and join in just to see it in person, but that's impossible, so a couple of webcams would be great. Especially to watch Dr. Pitts do his presentation.
That would be fantastic!
Thanks, Tom


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5453222 - 10/03/12 08:53 AM

Maybe to complete the show, we can have the Luftwaffe fly over....

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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5459747 - 10/07/12 07:23 PM

Here are some recent web stories about Open Air. The comments section of the October 7 piece suggests that turnout of late isn't impressive.

6abc October 7

NewsWorks October 5

Geoff


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5459988 - 10/08/12 01:09 AM

thanks, Geoff,
I've dropped it off my most interested list. Been wondering about the Bloom Observatory and Rittenhouse being able to participate? I hope they have the best outcome for dark skies....


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lozanohemmer
member


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5466810 - 10/12/12 12:25 PM

Tonight in Philly is the "Planetarium on the Parkway" featuring Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. We have clear skies and the moon is waning, an excellent time to look up at the stars... http://associationforpublicart.org/planetarium/
Sorry Tom, we tried to stream the event live but alas even the best webcam does not capture the dimness of the searchlights. On the plus side we did manage to turn off the entire public lighting in Eakins Oval. I'm sure we will see many Telescopes on the parkway tonight!


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TOM O
sage
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Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: lozanohemmer]
      #5467052 - 10/12/12 04:38 PM

Best of luck on your event! Sorry we won't be able to check it out. I hoped to hear the key remarks, etc. Would have been fun for everyone to see. Thanks to all for the best reasons possible.
Best, Tom


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5471680 - 10/15/12 02:28 PM

Well, so much for all of that.... I guess? Is it over?

Did the tree fall?
I didn't hear it... (an old adage)


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5473839 - 10/16/12 07:11 PM

In what may be the last "news" report about Open Air, it is noted that, "Observers say between 100 and 300 people came to the avenue nightly." I don't know what level of turnout would be considered good for an outdoor event in Philly.

Newsworks October 16

No mention is made of the "Planetarium on the Parkway" event that was supposed to have been held on October 12.

Geoff


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5474638 - 10/17/12 08:28 AM

More people show up to view an auto accident...

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